Triple lithography will make the 14nm node more expensive and compromise expected 14nm performance

Chips made at the 14-nm process node may deliver as little as half the typical 30 percent performance increase—and still carry a hefty cost premium–due to the lack of next-generation lithography needed to make them efficiently, according to experts speaking at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) here on Monday (Dec. 10)

Chip makers must choose lithography options now for 14-nm node, two generation away from the 28-nm node in wide production for today’s smallest devices. But it will not be until 2014 that extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tools will be available for limited commercial use, said Luc van den Hove, chief executive of the IMEC research center in Belgium, speaking to EE Times after a keynote talk here.The cost of 14-nm wafers made with today’s 193-nm immersion lithography systems will be more than 90 percent greater than the cost of today’s 28-nm wafers. EUV would shave that increase to just under 60 percent, van den Hove estimated in his talk.

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