Intel has begun buying 65nm chip-making kit, ordering equipment from the likes of Nikon, ASMI, ASML, Genus and Novellus, to name but five.
The chip giant is keeping mum, of course, but sources cited by Silicon Strategies have proved willing to pass on the details.
Each supplier is providing kit for one or more pieces for the processor production line. Novellus is said to have beaten Applied Materials to a $125m contract to supply copper deposition machines, for example.
ASMI's kit adds low-k dielectric and strained silicon layers to the wafer. In partnership with Genus, it has developed a 65nm atomic layer deposition system, which Intel has also ordered, the sources say.
ASML and Nikon are providing 65nm lithography equipment. Intel is currently evaluating laser thermal processing products from Ultratech. The sources suggest Daifuku and Asyst Technologies will share Intel's contract fro fab automation systems.
Intel has earmarked its D1D 300mm fab in Oregon as the home of its 65nm development work. It is spending $500-700m on its first kit orders, Cristina Osmena, investment bank Needham & Co's semiconductor equipment analyst, told Silicon Strategies. Intel's 65nm process is founded upon an eight-layer metal technology incorporating copper, low-k dielectric materials and strained silicon.
Like other chip makers, Intel is shooting to introduce 65nm processors toward the end of 2005. It is working alone - as you might expect the world's largest CPU maker, by a very large margin, to do - but it is working with others on 45nm.
Arch-rival AMD is working with IBM to develop its 65nm process. IBM is also co-operating with Infineon, Chartered and Samsung on 65nm technologies. AMD's new fab in Dresden, in addition to introducing 300mm wafers to the company, will also provide 65nm facilities. ®
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