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GlobalFoundries ships more chips, prepares for 14nm

Posted: 01 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:14nm process? IC manufacturing? metal gate wafers?

In a recent review of the company's road map, GlobalFoundries Inc. claims it has been shipping thousands of 32nm wafers weekly, and is also preparing its 28nm offerings for 2012 while gearing up for its 14nm process node.

GlobalFoundries' recent partnership with Amkor Technology Inc. will help pave a path to new kinds of 3D ICs, potentially at 28- and 20nm. In addition, it has ordered an extreme ultraviolet lithography system to be installed late next year that may be tested out in a 20nm process and applied for work at 14-nm.

"We are producing 65-, 45-, 32- and 28nm chips and shipping to more than one customer from our Dresden fab," said Ajit Manocha, interim chief executive of the company in an interview with EE Times. The company has 150 customers, including its former owner Advanced Micro Devices, as well as customers of Chartered Semiconductor, which it acquired in 2009.

Gregg Bartlett

Manocha: GlobalFoundries has no acquisition plans on the table at this point.

GlobalFoundries will name a permanent chief executive by the end of the year. Meanwhile, it has no plans on the table for any additional acquisitions, but it is studying the feasibility of building a fab in Abu Dhabi, home of its majority shareholder, Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC).

The Dresden fab is shipping thousands of 32nm high-K, metal gate wafers per week "on traditional yield curves," said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of R&D at GlobalFoundries. "Thirty-two nanometer HKMG is very challenging technology, but that transition is now behind us," he said.

The next goal is bringing up a handful of 28nm processes sometime in 2012. At the event, the company will demonstrate a 3GHz version of a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 chip made in its high performance 28nm process and a 2GHz version made in a low power flavor as early proof points of the node.

It will also describe a new high performance, low power 28nm process geared for smartphone, tablets and notebooks it will release in tandem with Samsung. The company claimed that compared to a 45nm node, the new process could cut active power 60 percent while maintaining chip frequency or boost performance 55 percent while maintaining power leakage levels.

Four 300mm fabs will qualify the technology. GlobalFoundries' Fab 1 in Dresden and Fab 8 in New York along with Samsung's S1 in Korea and S2 in Austin, TX.

To 20nm and beyond
GlobalFoudries plans to make the availability of high- and low-performance planar process which will be out in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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