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Sunday, January 10, 2021

#457 Problem with "technology node" terminology

It is not clear to me why the term “technology node”, certainly useful reference to the progress in digital IC technology, continues to be expressed in nanometers.

Was it somewhere around 14 nm that the number in nm defining “technology node” and actual physical length of the transistor’s gate parted ways? Or was it even earlier than that? In any case, without some connection to the improved transistor's performance or architecure modifications we, casual observers, can understand, but are unaware of, technology node expressed in nanometers does not seem to serve a constructive purpose.


May be the concept of the Equivalent Gate Length (EGL) I proposed in blogs #379 (12/3/2017) and #422 (8/9/2020) would help establish connection between business terminology and physical reality and give us some sense of continuity in the progress of digital ICs technology? Term “X nm EGL Technology Node” where X would be defined by modelling and simulation could do the trick in my mind. 


 P.S. All what I am saying above was not occurring to me three years ago when I was writing a section on integrated circuits in my book published in early 2020. Well, technology is plowing ahead and on occasion we are late seeing things the right way…  

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 10:16 AM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.


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