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Author Topic: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?  (Read 30650 times)

aznable

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2012, 04:48:15 PM »
The effect this has on available budgets is quite profound:
Sony invest about 1.0-1.5 billion dollars per year in new and improved lithography and processing lines. Having spent almost 7 billion on the Kumamoto TEC site for the last 5 years, next year the smaller Nagasaki TEC is getting 1.5 billion next year.
This IN ITSELF is more than the total revenue of Canon Semiconductor.

i get the point, but sony is in the verge on Bankruptcy...maybe they are investing too much
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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2012, 04:48:15 PM »

Canon-F1

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2012, 05:57:58 PM »

The effect this has on available budgets is quite profound:
Sony invest about 1.0-1.5 billion dollars per year in new and improved lithography and processing lines. Having spent almost 7 billion on the Kumamoto TEC site for the last 5 years, next year the smaller Nagasaki TEC is getting 1.5 billion next year.
This IN ITSELF is more than the total revenue of Canon Semiconductor.

and we all know how good sonys profit is....  ::)

while sony was deep in the reds the last years, canon made profit.

so maybe canon has enough money to spend to do the jump to a smaller process.... now.
without spending money on smaller steps over the last years... like sony has.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 06:02:26 PM by Canon-F1 »

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2012, 06:12:17 PM »
Well, think know how and it takes time to develope a new sensor, nothing any one do in few years.

what process was the 120 MP aps-h sensor?

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2012, 06:16:09 PM »
The main problem as I see it is that Canon don't really have any real development momentum (or budget!) on higher resolution processes. They outsource almost everything except for the larger format sensors.

The biggest difference between the others and Canon is that all the other manufacturers are all dominated by their small-sensor image sensors sales, that already now are manufactured at 90 and 110-130nm metal processes on 300mm wafers. Panasonic and TSMC will start volume shipping of sensors made on 65/45nm rules in Q1 2013. Lower mask resolutions than 130nm are not enough to land you any sales any more. Most cellphone and compact camera sensors are manufactured at those levels now, and have been for the last few years. Also consider the fact that some of the others have very large yearly revenues from logic CMOS processes at 45, 32 and even 22nm levels. All of those markets are areas where Canon totally lack any type of experience. Canon outsource all more advanced fabs on their camera bill-of-materials.

The Digic sensors are made by UMC http://www.umc.com/english/class_300/index.asp, and were designed by Texas Instruments http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/apps/videovision/end_equipment.page
The memory is most often made by Samsung http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/consumer-dram/overview
The memory/Digic package-on-package mount has to be outsourced, since Canon cannot do it themselves, and it is believed that UMC does the mounting too.
Other peripheral control and logic chips are TI, Mitsubishi, AD and Fairchild.
.........

Going from a 500nm process to 180nm is like going from a 10MP FF camera to a 70MP camera in one generation. This means some really noticeable strains on the process, especially since the CMOS manufacturing process isn't as forgiving as just "taking pictures". You cant "scale to web size" and sharpen in post when you're making CIS wafers.

What you're basically asking from your equipment is to all of a sudden provide compact camera type linear resolution in a FF lens projection coverage - something almost unthinkable in the normal photographic world. The process has to be precise, to a degree where every single contrast and item on the new 70MP image is equal to or better than the 10MP camera - per pixel. In normal photographic resolution usage, we just want the final output to be good enough, which means that we downsample most images - we seldom deliver full-res images to the customers, and we seldom use full-res images in our own output.
Going from a 350nm mask to 250 and then 180nm and 12" wafers was a BIG step for most CMOS manufacturers, and most other manufacturers are a LOT bigger than Canon in this area.
............

So it's not that Canon COULDN'T do it. Even really small (in the imaging field) firms like STMicro can do it by stitching, and thereby tripling the unit prices. For Leica this isn't really a problem since the total BoM on a M series camera is most certainly lower than 2k USD. This gives a healthy margin up to the projected 7k USD end price point.
This isn't what Canon does. They live on volume, not on extreme margins.

Sure, it's a big step. Which is probably why Canon has held onto their 500nm process for so long, and pushed it to the limits of it's capabilities in recent years. We aren't necessarily talking about Canon making the leap from 500nm to 180nm in one single generation, all or nothing style. As far as I understand Canon already uses 12" (300mm) wafers, so there wouldn't be a need to "switch" to a larger wafer. I gather that they have been producing scanners capable of 90nm manufacture since 2008, so that is not particularly new technology either. Even 180nm processes for CMOS image sensor design are relatively new, and while other manufacturers have already moved much of their CIS design to 180nm, as you stated, it was a VERY COSTLY endeavor that has, in some cases, and very well could, in other cases (Sony?) put them in unstable financial predicaments. I figure Canon will put ONE part on the new process, a low volume part...say, a 46.1mp megapixel monster sensor in a body priced around $5k - $8k a pop? It doesn't even sound like that sucker will be released any time soon, end of next year, possibly later? I wouldn't exactly state that Canon is racing towards a 180nm design and fabrication process for their CMOS sensors at breakneck speed...

All things considered, Canon is not the only IC manufacturer or lithography systems producer or even DSLR company in a bind. Even Sony, the giant it is, is struggling, with numerous bankruptcy rumors floating around. The worlds largest semiconductor manufacturer, Intel, just recently missed estimates and is down in revenue, particularly for larger desktop CPU's as consumers look towards cheaper devices to fulfill their computing needs...Intel may be behind ARM, but that doesn't mean they are inevitably doomed to fail in totality in the near future. Most of all that is thanks to a shitty economy, and not a lack of competitiveness or capability.

Finally, I'd like to know where you get your information. How do you know TI designed the DIGIC sensor, or that UMC manufactured it? According to Canon, Canon themselves designed the DIGIC sensor, and as it stands, I cannot find any explicit information about who actually manufactures them, although Canon generally stands by their "Made In House" mantra for their critical components...sensor and processor. It does not surprise me if the memory chips were made by Samsung, and there is actually some direct evidence for that (link below). Same goes for peripheral control and logic chips, wouldn't be surprising if they were manufactured by other companies, however there is still no definitive information available about who manufactures what that Canon uses in their DSLRs, which makes the explicit nature of your proclamations of "nothing is made by Canon" a bit suspect.

The only piece of evidence I was able to find about DIGIC's design and manufacture was on Wikipedia:

Quote from: Wikipedia
DIGIC units are made by Canon and used in its own digital imagery products.

I call your claims about the general source of IC's used in Canon cameras into question, particularly regarding DIGIC. Unless you can produce some solid evidence that clearly indicates Canon does not design and manufacture their own DIGIC processors, the facts currently seem to indicate Canon designs and manufactures them. DIGIC itself makes use advanced fabrication processes. This technical analysis of DIGIC 4 clearly demonstrate it used 65nm fabrication technology, and also indicates it does use Samsung memory (not surprising), in a PoP design. At the very least, they certainly seemed to design the DIGIC 4:

Quote
Canon Inc unveiled two astonishing features of its in-house designed "Digic 4" image processing LSI for digital cameras to Nikkei Electronics at a new products presentation Sept 17, 2008.

Canon's lithography units are capable of package-on-package and even 3D CMOS manufacture, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was Canon who manufactured the processor and packaged it with Samsung memory.

jrista

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2012, 06:20:39 PM »
Well, think know how and it takes time to develope a new sensor, nothing any one do in few years.

You are assuming they only just started. Canon demonstrated an extremely high density sensor with 2 micron pixels a couple years ago (the 120mp APS-H) that had on-die image processing (very much like a Sony Exmor). Canon has apparently been developing prototypical 180nm Cu sensors for at last a little while, long enough that they have been thoroughly analyzed by the likes of Chipworks (a painstaking process that takes time and expensive equipment). I suspect Canon started prototyping 180nm sensor design and fabrication a few years ago, demonstrated it with the 120mp APS-H (or a similarly small process...I can't imagine they managed to pack enough circuitry at 0.5 microns such that they could actually produce 2 micron pixels), and have probably continued perfecting the technology since (which seemed to be evidenced by their use of high refractive index light pipes, which is pretty new technology only very recently employed in phone camera sensors.)

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2012, 06:37:08 PM »
Now you get your self in a tuff position, is common knowleadge that digit 5 is  a texas instrument device
And so also other components in the canon cameras, i think it is time for you to stop thinking so much and controle facts

then it should be no problem for you to present a source?

im more into photography then what company produces what part for my cameras... so no it is not common knowledge i fear.   ::)

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2012, 06:41:11 PM »
Well by some of us

so where is the source ?

i looked at the provided links in "thesuede´s" posting but i did not see any infos relating to that.

but i found this about the digic 4:

http://www.canon.com/technology/interview/digic4/digic4_p1.html

Quote
Am I right in saying that Canon has always had a policy of developing its image processors in-house, right from when the first digital cameras started being developed? Given that, today, most other camera makers customize processors provided by specialist LSI chip suppliers, what is Canon's stance regarding in-house development now?

Ikeda : I think it's more than that. There's also the pride that we feel at being the world's leading camera manufacturer. Canon has built up a great deal of knowledge with respect to image capture. However, with traditional cameras, camera makers didn't really need to have much to do with camera film or developing. With digital cameras, on the other hand, we are in a position to handle everything ourselves, right up to the "developing" stage. There is no way we are going to just abandon all of the possibilities that this opens up by entrusting it to someone outside the company


so is this a fake development team.... or has canon abandoned it for the digic 5?

if this is common knowledge it must be easy to provide a link to a source for his claim?

Quote
The Digic sensors are made by UMC http://www.umc.com/english/class_300/index.asp, and were designed by Texas Instruments
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 07:04:37 PM by Canon-F1 »

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2012, 06:41:11 PM »

marekjoz

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2012, 06:46:45 PM »
The main problem as I see it is that Canon don't really have any real development momentum (or budget!) on higher resolution processes. They outsource almost everything except for the larger format sensors.

The biggest difference between the others and Canon is that all the other manufacturers are all dominated by their small-sensor image sensors sales, that already now are manufactured at 90 and 110-130nm metal processes on 300mm wafers. Panasonic and TSMC will start volume shipping of sensors made on 65/45nm rules in Q1 2013. Lower mask resolutions than 130nm are not enough to land you any sales any more. Most cellphone and compact camera sensors are manufactured at those levels now, and have been for the last few years. Also consider the fact that some of the others have very large yearly revenues from logic CMOS processes at 45, 32 and even 22nm levels. All of those markets are areas where Canon totally lack any type of experience. Canon outsource all more advanced fabs on their camera bill-of-materials.

The Digic sensors are made by UMC http://www.umc.com/english/class_300/index.asp, and were designed by Texas Instruments http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/apps/videovision/end_equipment.page
The memory is most often made by Samsung http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/consumer-dram/overview
The memory/Digic package-on-package mount has to be outsourced, since Canon cannot do it themselves, and it is believed that UMC does the mounting too.
Other peripheral control and logic chips are TI, Mitsubishi, AD and Fairchild.
.........

Going from a 500nm process to 180nm is like going from a 10MP FF camera to a 70MP camera in one generation. This means some really noticeable strains on the process, especially since the CMOS manufacturing process isn't as forgiving as just "taking pictures". You cant "scale to web size" and sharpen in post when you're making CIS wafers.

What you're basically asking from your equipment is to all of a sudden provide compact camera type linear resolution in a FF lens projection coverage - something almost unthinkable in the normal photographic world. The process has to be precise, to a degree where every single contrast and item on the new 70MP image is equal to or better than the 10MP camera - per pixel. In normal photographic resolution usage, we just want the final output to be good enough, which means that we downsample most images - we seldom deliver full-res images to the customers, and we seldom use full-res images in our own output.
Going from a 350nm mask to 250 and then 180nm and 12" wafers was a BIG step for most CMOS manufacturers, and most other manufacturers are a LOT bigger than Canon in this area.
............

So it's not that Canon COULDN'T do it. Even really small (in the imaging field) firms like STMicro can do it by stitching, and thereby tripling the unit prices. For Leica this isn't really a problem since the total BoM on a M series camera is most certainly lower than 2k USD. This gives a healthy margin up to the projected 7k USD end price point.
This isn't what Canon does. They live on volume, not on extreme margins.

+100 for this info. I was looking for this kind of information and couldn't find anywhere. Appreciate it a lot!
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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2012, 06:59:38 PM »
All i can say is that when i left making semi conductors in 1998, we were making critical dimentions on 8 inch wafers down to 250. Theory and experiments already had us down to 180. Guess whos steppers we were using? Heres a clue, the companys name begins with a C and they make a lot of cameras. That was 14 years ago.  I wont bore you with the technical stuff about how its done etc as thats boring.
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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2012, 07:03:00 PM »
Heres a clue, the companys name begins with a C and they make a lot of cameras. That was 14 years ago.

casio?

AdamJ

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2012, 07:07:34 PM »
Much as I'm hesitant to support (albeit partially) Mikael's contention about the Digic 5+ chip, chipworks believe it to be designed jointly by Canon and TI, and fabricated by UMC.

https://chipworks.secure.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=CAN-CH4-6501&viewState=DetailView&cartID=&g=&parentCategory=&navigationStr=CatalogSearchInc&searchText=digic%205+

But that doesn't matter. This debate is ultimately about the sensor, not the processor.

OK, I've got myself more popcorn so, please carry on.

Edit: Sorry, I meant ljunglinus, not Mikael.  ;)

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2012, 07:12:19 PM »
Much as I'm hesitant to support (albeit partially) Mikael's contention about the Digic 5+ chip, chipworks believe it to be designed jointly by Canon and TI, and fabricated by UMC.


believe.. i thought that belongs in church?   ;)

so it´s not common knowledge... it´s common believe?

win nut

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2012, 07:18:33 PM »
The digic 5 and 5+ were designed jointly withTI and Canon. Prototyped and qualified by TI and then farmed out to UMC for mass production.

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2012, 07:18:33 PM »

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2012, 07:50:53 PM »
Yes many belives a lot here and I keep to facts , digit is not a canon processor

so canon is lying and the digic(!) development team is just for show?

http://www.canon.com/technology/interview/digic4/digic4_p1.html


Quote
Am I right in saying that Canon has always had a policy of developing its image processors in-house, right from when the first digital cameras started being developed? Given that, today, most other camera makers customize processors provided by specialist LSI chip suppliers, what is Canon's stance regarding in-house development now?

Ikeda : I think it's more than that. There's also the pride that we feel at being the world's leading camera manufacturer. Canon has built up a great deal of knowledge with respect to image capture. However, with traditional cameras, camera makers didn't really need to have much to do with camera film or developing. With digital cameras, on the other hand, we are in a position to handle everything ourselves, right up to the "developing" stage. There is no way we are going to just abandon all of the possibilities that this opens up by entrusting it to someone outside the company
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 07:52:42 PM by Canon-F1 »

marekjoz

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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2012, 07:55:57 PM »
Yes many belives a lot here and I keep to facts , digit is not a canon processor

so canon is lying and the digic(!) development team is just for show?


You think, that inscription design on the chip comes for free? :)
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Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2012, 07:55:57 PM »