With RibbonFET, Intel introduces a new transistor architecture, which the manufacturer wants to use in its Intel 20A process from 2024. It’s Intel’s implementation of a gate-all-around transistor. Intel will also provide chips with power from the bottom.
Intel presents RibbonFET as the successor to finfet transistors used in current nodes. Starting in 2024, Intel will use the new transistor architecture for its Intel 20A node. Intel gives that name to its ‘2nm’ process. According to Intel, the new transistors are smaller and faster to switch, which should lead to better performance.
RibbonFET is the name Intel gives to its vision of the gate-all-around transistor. Other chip manufacturers are also working on such gaa transistors as a successor to the finfet. At the end of 2019, Samsung presented its gaa transistor design for 3nm chips. IBM announced earlier this year that it was developing 2nm chip technology with gaa transistors.
Samsung plans to use its gaa transistors in its 3nm node from 2022. TSMC is expected to deploy gaa transistors at its 2nm node, which is expected by the end of 2023. The Taiwanese chip maker announced last year that all its future nodes up to 3nm will still use finfet transistors.
Intel will combine RibbonFET with PowerVia. That is the name that Intel gives to a technique to power chips from the bottom. Traditionally, this is done with a layer on top of the transistors. By supplying chips with power from the bottom, according to Intel, less power leaks and it is possible to make chips with a higher clock speed.
To power the chips from the bottom, Intel plans to use nano through silicon vias . According to Intel, they are up to 500 times smaller than TSVs in current chip designs. According to Intel, wafers can be designed more efficiently with PowerVia technology, because the bottom layer can then be used for the power supply and the top layer for the transistors.
Processors with RibbonFET and PowerVia will be released in 2024 at the earliest. Intel says it will start using those techniques in the first half of that year and production should start in the second half. This can mean that actual product launches take longer. Intel has not yet announced in which processors it will use the techniques. Qualcomm has already indicated that it will have chips made by Intel on the Intel 20A process, which uses the new techniques.