The 180 nanometer (180 nm) process refers to the level of semiconductor process technology that was reached in the 1999-2000 timeframe by most leading semiconductor companies, like Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, and TSMC.
The origin of the 180 nm value is historical, as it reflects a trend of 70% scaling every 2–3 years. The naming is formally determined by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS).
Some of the first CPUs manufactured with this process include Intel Coppermine family of Pentium III processors. This was the first technology using a gate length shorter than that of light used for lithography (which has a minimum of 193 nm).
Some more recent microprocessors and microcontrollers (e.g. PIC) are using this technology because it is typically low cost and does not require upgrading of existing equipment.