Last week at the Gartner Semiconductor Briefing held at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, Gartner Research Director Sam Wang presented a forecast for the way new IC process technologies will diffuse into the manufacturing mix. The chart he presented (see below) has some really interesting information. Emphasizing the point he made that I covered last week (See “Gartner’s Sam Wang tosses down the 28nm Silicon Realization gauntlet to IC design houses”), Wang’s chart shows that 40nm and 28nm designs will consume about 25% of the world’s IC foundry capacity by 2014.
During this same period, 65nm IC designs added to the 40nm and 28nm design mix will consume nearly 40% of foundry capacity. At the other end of the spectrum, 0.5- and 0.35-micron designs will continue to consume around 25% of foundry capacity for the forecasted future and 130nm designs will also not change much with respect to foundry fab utilization.
What’s really getting squeezed? Wang’s chart suggests an abbreviated future for 90nm fab capacity. It appears that Silicon Realization teams needing leading-edge capabilities (power, area, performance) migrate as fast as they can to the most advanced process technology they can buy. Designs that don’t need these capabilities aren’t going to move from where they are.
More on this topic soon.