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Thread: 10nm yield problems

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    10nm yield problems

    Rumors are that all foundries (Intel, TSMC and Samsung) are having problems with their 10nm node.
    Yield problems at TSMC has caused the delay of MediaTek's Helio X30. Also, Yield problems at Samsung have pushed back the launch of the Galaxy S8 smartphone. This is according to Digitimes: Yields of 10nm FinFET Chipsets Are Still Low – SoC Suppliers Forced to Reschedule Shipment Dates (sorry, link has been paywalled, this is link to WCCFTech instead)
    Meanwhile, is seems possible that Intel faces yet another delay on their 10nm node. BlueFin Research Partners have heard that "INTC is still struggling with defect/yield issues with this advanced process for High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) release and have not locked down the complete process of records (PORs) to date".

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    I really wonder if the yield issue is mainly defect density driven or more related to some device variability issues. I mean, as far as I know, foundry defect density at 14nm was pretty good, so at 10nm although not great, it should not really be a show stopper. On the other hand, quadruple patterning should not really be a trivial exercise (overlay specs must be a nightmare).

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    I don't believe the 10nm bad yield rumors. Last week I spoke with the equipment people at SPIE and the EDA folks at Dvcon. Next week will be the true test at the TSMC Symposium with all of the IP people. IP doesn't lie.

    FYI, TSMC is not using quad patterning for 10nm...

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    MediaTek just rolled out its 10nm Helio X30 SoC-series. The company expects smartphones using the chips to be available in the second quarter of 2017.
    MediaTek co-COO Jeffrey Ju was quoted in a recent Nikkei report as saying the Helio X30 chip is "a bit delayed because the yield rate of 10nm process technology has not yet reached a satisfactory level."

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    The same rumor mill now says MediaTek is moving on to 7nm regardless: MediaTek sticking with TSMC for 7nm chips

    MediaTek sticking with TSMC for 7nm chips
    Cage Chao, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Thursday 9 March 2017]

    Despite experiencing unsatisfactory yield rates for TSMC's 10nm process, MediaTek will continue to partner with the foundry to make its next-generation flagship mobile chips, according to industry sources.

    TSMC will enter risk production for a MediaTek chip on the newer 7nm process in the second quarter, said the sources, adding that the SoC incorporates 12 CPU cores.

    TSMC disclosed previously the node technology will be ready for risk production later in the first quarter.

    In addition, speculation has circulated that the low yield rates for TSMC's 10nm process could affect shipments of MediaTek's Helio X30 chips. In response, MediaTek claimed there is no change to the shipment schedule.

    MediaTek in February rolled out its 10nm Helio X30-series SoC designed for high-end smartphones. Mass production for the deca-core SoC has kicked off, said the company, adding that commercial devices powered by the chips will be available in the second quarter of 2017.

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    yes, MTK has started some activity with TSMC on 7nm.

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    On March 29, Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy S8 (Samsung Confirms Galaxy S8 Announcement For March 29 | Ubergizmo). The Galaxy S8 has been expected to use either the Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895. It is expected to go on sale April 21, though initially there was a reported week's delay to April 28 (KGI corroborates Galaxy S8 specs & April 21 release date, projects slower sales compared to Galaxy S7 | 9to5Google).

    At MWC 2017, Snapdragon 835 processor was quite absent, so many phones showcased 14nm Snapdragon 821 instead (MWC 2017: How the Snapdragon 835's Absence Stole the Show). This fueled the 10nm yield rumors.

    If the Galaxy S8 release is without 10nm or otherwise delayed, that would indeed confirm the rumors.

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    Cannonlake will be released second half of 2017.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astilo View Post
    I really wonder if the yield issue is mainly defect density driven or more related to some device variability issues. I mean, as far as I know, foundry defect density at 14nm was pretty good, so at 10nm although not great, it should not really be a show stopper. On the other hand, quadruple patterning should not really be a trivial exercise (overlay specs must be a nightmare).
    TSMC stated that 10nm is now in HVM meaning no yield problems. Mediatek may have gotten ahead of themselves. 7nm is also on track for early 2017 HVM, just in time for Apple iProducts of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Chen View Post
    On March 29, Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy S8 (Samsung Confirms Galaxy S8 Announcement For March 29 | Ubergizmo). The Galaxy S8 has been expected to use either the Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895. It is expected to go on sale April 21, though initially there was a reported week's delay to April 28 (KGI corroborates Galaxy S8 specs & April 21 release date, projects slower sales compared to Galaxy S7 | 9to5Google).

    At MWC 2017, Snapdragon 835 processor was quite absent, so many phones showcased 14nm Snapdragon 821 instead (MWC 2017: How the Snapdragon 835's Absence Stole the Show). This fueled the 10nm yield rumors.

    If the Galaxy S8 release is without 10nm or otherwise delayed, that would indeed confirm the rumors.

    The analyst, Andrew Lu had comment on his FB yesterday. But seems he changed his word compare to his initial one. In previous, looks like pretty sure that SEC is ahead TSMC in 10nm.

    陸行之 ~ Andrew Lu on global semis and techs | Facebook

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