some interesting comments about "gate last" -
(the manufacturing lead is finally materializing)
Enough of this bogus "wall" chip krapp
Has making chips become a brutal adults only profession?
Fewer will do more!!!
So it has been for 50 years!!!!
Only those that partner with (Cymer)ASML will survive!!!!!
Gate first/ gate last:
Virtually the entire industry decided to go "gate first" processing at 45nm. Intel (INTC) alone went "gate last". TSMC (TSM) also went gate last only after Chairman Morris Chang dictated that TSMC follow Intel. There were many reasons at the time that the IBM (IBM) led Common Platform Consortium felt that gate first was superior, but the real, behind the scenes, reason for the gate first decision was that IBM felt that Moore's Law stopped at 45nm, so there would be no need for gate last. Intel, on the other hand, knew there were more steps to Moore's Law all the way to TriGate, and a TriGate transistor is impossible using gate first. Intel had the leading insight in this major decision.
At 90nm Intel introduced "strained silicon", shocking the rest of the industry. This move improved speed and lowered leakage on transistors in 90nm integrated circuits. An enhanced strained silicon continued the improvement to the 65nm node.
Intel introduced their HKMG (High K Metal Gate) process at 45nm, leaving all competition scratching their heads once again. HKMG made the next node, 32nm possible
In 2011 Intel again shocked the semiconductor industry with the announcement of their TriGate transistor technology. Intel has been shipping TriGate products for two years and has recently moved into production with a 14nm TriGate process. The rest of the industry is struggling with 20nm planar processes with no sign of an answer to TriGate for another couple of years, if ever.