It should be obvious by now that a lot of folks in the semiconductor industry visit this blog and any wild speculative comments about chip production never gets a free pass. I get quite a few myself but I am always grateful for the learning experience. But for some people, it's like banging your head against the wall.
Take for instance making a claim about things beyond ones expertise. There's a big difference between making claims and stating an assumption. The 1st mistake is making claims about a company's future process. Nobody on this planet except an Intel or AMD approved spokesperson will disclose or make a statement about future yields. You get fired for breaking that rule and if someone does, normally you won't get proof anyway. So if you hear an outsider making claims about future yields, save the grain of salt and dismiss the claim outright. The 2nd mistake is presenting it as facts and using it for one's argument. The 3rd mistake is to keep on insisting even when provided with counter evidence.
Take for example when Scientia said:
"Intel's yields, in contrast, on its brand new 45nm process will take a couple of quarters to reach maturity... Intel will improve its 45nm process and this should pay off by Q2. The process will be mature when Nehalem launches in Q4 08. ".
InTheKnow countered with this evidence (from Mike Bohr, Intel senior fellow). But if you thought the discussion should have ended there, you're wrong.
"No. You are reading the graph wrong. What it actually shows is that 90nm had worse initial defect density than 130nm but about the same improvement rate. The chart further shows that there was no improvement in initial defect density with 65nm but the rate of improvement got worse. It further shows that 45nm is close to 65nm and worse than 90nm. Again, this matches with what I said."
I'm not sure if Scientia is deliberately misreading this graph but this is the worst graph interpretation I've come across. The way I see it, and if I were to stick to the main point, 45nm matures before 2008 as each node reaches maturity quicker. This is right smack into the 45nm early ramp.
Here's InTheKnow's more detailed and accurate interpretation.
1) Intel required ~24 months to reach the same level on 130 nm that they eventually reached on 90 nm.
2) Intel reached the flat portion of the plot in ~22 months at 90 nm. This despite several flat spots on the graph that showed significant yield hurdles had been encountered. I would expect this since the 90nm transition also overlapped with the 12 inch transition somewhat.
3) On 65 nm Intel matched 90nm yields in ~19 months. Yields continued to improve from beyond the 90 nm levels.
4) 90nm launched around the end of December '04. Intel had reached the flat part of the graph ~2 months prior to this.
5) 65nm launched in Jan '06. Intel matched the 90nm yield levels ~3-4 months prior to this.
6) 45nm is now at about the 18 month point on the plot. If they are matching 65nm yields then they should be very close to the 90nm yield level now. The launch is believed to to be 2 months away and they should be well into the mature portion of the yield graph by then.