'First Again in the Industry,' Panasonic Begins Mass Production of 45-nm Generation SoC

Jun 20, 2007
Junichi Ooshita and Ikutarou Kojima, Nikkei Microdevices
Executive Vice President Susumu Koike presenting a 300-mm wafer from which the 45-nm chips were diced (Photo by Nikkei Microdevices)
Executive Vice President Susumu Koike presenting a 300-mm wafer from which the 45-nm chips were diced (Photo by Nikkei Microdevices)
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The production of 45-nm SoC started at the 300-mm line in Uozu, Toyama Pref. in Japan. (Data provided by Panasonic)
The production of 45-nm SoC started at the 300-mm line in Uozu, Toyama Pref. in Japan. (Data provided by Panasonic)
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. started mass production of System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for use in digital consumer equipment based on the 45-nm process technology in June, 2007.

A product based on the next-generation UniPhier platform for digital appliances is now under mass production. Two more similar products will be added within 2007. The company claims that this is the industry's first mass production of 45 nm-generation SoC.

"The result of vertical integration and cooperation"

The volume production launched on the company's 300-mm line in Uozu, Toyama Prefecture in Japan. The line produces 6,500 65-nm SoCs per month. The production scale will be increased to over 10,000 pieces per month by employing the 45-nm compatible process including immersion ArF lithography.

"We are confident that the yield of our 65-nm SoC production is the highest in the world," said Susumu Koike, the company's executive vice president. "We intend to achieve the same level in the production of 45-nm SoC."

According to Panasonic, the 45-nm generation product can reduce the chip size and power consumption by 39% and 30%, respectively, compared with the 65-nm product.

Koike explained the reason why the company gained the lead in 45-nm mass production as being "the result of vertical integration and cooperation." Through cooperation, the company has jointly developed elemental technologies with Renesas Technology Corp., as was the case with the preceding generation, and utilized the development results at IMEC in Belgium.

Panasonic was the frontrunner in the mass production of 65-nm generation consumer SoC as well.

"Application software creates" demands for the 32-nm SoC

Reiterating the company's firm intention toward mass production, Koike asserted, "Demand will definitely be created through the initiative of application software," regarding the 32-nm generation SoC that following the 45-nm generation.

The company plans to reduce power consumption and enhance the design flexibility of the 32-nm generation SoC by the integration of reconfigurable logics. Mass production is scheduled to begin around 2010. The company intends to employ new process technologies such as high-k gate dielectric and metal gate.