It was an unusually cold, snowy, and rainy January and February here in the Pacific Northwest, which means our spring was a little later than usual. Despite that, when looking out my window through the rain back then, I still saw the first crocus and tulip bulbs starting to push up through the soil and bloom. Growth is a fine theme when looking at 2017, because we are going to see it in many places.
10 nm hits it B-I-G in 2017
Test chips dominated 2016, with a handful of early 10-nm production designs. 2017 is the year of volume manufacturing for 10 nm, and when I say volume, I mean VOLUME. Many of the early 10-nm designs are targeted at consumer (and, more specifically, mobile) applications showing up in this year’s most interesting products. Press releases have emerged from, among many, Samsung on its introduction of the first mass-produced system-on-chip (SoC) using 10 nm, Samsung and Qualcomm using 10 nm for its latest Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, Mediatek’s Helio X30 processor, and LG’s next-generation processor—all on 10-nm processes.
While Intel has been shipping its most advanced microprocessors using 14-nm technology for a while, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took to the stage with a prototype 2-in-1 machine he promised was running a 10-nm Cannonlake CPU. So, regardless of where you might fall on the argument of Intel vs. TSMC, etc., over the marketing labeling of “10 nm,” they are building 10-nm products.