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  2. Notable Answerer Sherlock Holmes
  3. Thursday, 29 September 2022
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SFN is a UK company that has invented a new wafer process called Bizen®, which is used to build Zpolar transistors with Zpolar® Tunnel Logic (ZTL). The transistors are much smaller, require less semiconductor layers and are higher performing than those built using CMOS. Therefore they can be built much faster and cheaper using existing equipment (steppers etc). The advantages are so great that ZTL chips with the performance of those built using 35nm CMOS can be fabricated at facilities equipped with 180nm equipment.
This means that older generation 180nm fabs - such as NWF, the UK's largest semiconductor fab which is at the centre of a political row concerning its sale to Chinese-owned Nexperia - could be used to build ZTL chips with the performance of 35nm CMOS ICs, for use in high performance applications such as 5G/AI etc.
Today, SFN will unveil four ITMs – effectively process nodes - which fabs can use to build the new Zpolar transistors.
If employed, this would massively address the IC shortage…and also protect the IP of chip designers, while reducing the world's reliance on the near-monopoly of TSMC. 

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