5-minute, 20nm Q&A. All you need to know in 5 minutes.

What are the key advantages of moving to 20nm?

There are three primary reasons why we are seeing more system and semiconductor companies consider 20nm: performance, power, and area (PPA). Essentially, this is a “next-node” answer, which is still as true as ever at 20nm.

What are the specific benefits of 20nm?

  • 2x gate density Improvement
  • 20% speed improvement at Vdd=0.85V
  • 25% switching power reduction
  • Multiple Vt and Lg options extends performance coverage

What are the primary design challenges at 20nm?

There are three kinds of challenges:

  • Silicon manufacturability and managing variations
  • “Giga-scale” design productivity
  • Concurrent “performance, power, and area” optimization

Do you really need double-patterning technology (DPT) at 20nm?

Mostly everybody moving to 20nm will need to use it [DPT], because conventional lithography is not cutting it any more.

What kinds of transistor counts can be expected at 20nm?

20nm is expected to provide 8 to 12 billion transistors [per chip], so that’s a huge increase in the size of designs, and it’s done with a 2x density shrink and 50% better performance.

What is new and different at 20nm?

One aspect that gets worse involves layout-dependent effects (LDE). At 20nm, cells are much closer to each other and the proximity effect of different kinds of cells and interconnects has a worse effect on both timing and power.

Note: These questions were adapted from a new Cadence White Paper titled 20 Questions on 20nm. For more in-depth answers and for more questions, see the White Paper.


About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at https://eda360insider.wordpress.com/)
This entry was posted in 20nm, Silicon Realization, SoC, SoC Realization and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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