Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TMSC) might be showing off a glimpse of the future of chip manufacturing tech smaller than 20nm when it pulls back the curtain on it's latest research involving FinFET transistors at a chip industry event later this year.
Most existing products are built using planar transistors, invented in 1959 they are low-cost, efficient transistors. But, chip makers are now looking at other transistor design methods to shrink their die below 20nm, TMSC seems to heart the FinFET design because of their "fish-fin" design which reduces the size of working transistors.
TMSC will show off high performance 22nm and 20nm tech that features FinFET transistors at IEEE's International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) which is happening on 6 - 8 December of this year in San Fransisco.
FinFET transistors are only one of a few kinds of transistor options chip makers are looking at for the future. TMSC has no current plans to use FinFET in actual production at 20nm according to a company representative. TMSC will continue to use silicon with planar transistors.
Other companies interested in FinFET have tested it too, a research team that includes IBM, GlobalFoundaries, NEC and Toshiba showed off a SRAM (static random access memory) cell made using FinFET transistors and 22nm production tech at the 2010 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits in June 2010. TMSC's latest FinFET transistors were also used in SRAM cell.