GlobalFoundries Expands Offerings With Partners
GlobalFoundries has fully transformed itself into a pure-play foundry, now that the company’s Fab1 in Dresden is well past being an AMD line running a single product. As disclosed at the company’s Global Technology Conference held Aug. 30th in Santa Clara, California, Fab1 now runs 45, 32, and 28nm node processes for multiple customers. “Out customer base is primarily in the U.S., like the leading foundry in Taiwan,” explained ATIC board member and temporary CEO Ajit Manocha.
In marvelous Malta, N.Y., the company continues to build Fab 8. It will be a “lights out” fab without even the need for “operator assisted” running of the tools in the line. The base build was completed two months ahead of schedule, in preparation for cleanroom area equal to six American football fields. First silicon is planned for November 2011, with 60,000 wafers-per-month starting to ramp at 32nm in the summer of 2012.
Leading edge today means 32/28nm node processing, and GlobalFoundries offers multiple process flow variations to meet distinctly different end-market needs. The company’s 32nm HKMG processes on 300mm SOI wafers do not use strain engineering. However, after joint-development with Samsung in Korea, there will be embedded silicon-germanium (e-SiGe) stressors for 28nm chips. The 28nm processes will run at Fab 1 and Fab 8, and also at Samsung’s S1 in Kiheung and S2 in Austin.
Mainstream today generally means 65nm node processing, as discussed during an end-of-day panel discussion moderated by SemiMD’s Ed Sperling. Half of the global volume of ARM chips that shipped last year were ARM7, many running in Singapore Fab 7. “Customers are doing a lot of very cool things that are relevant today at 65nm,” commented GlobalFoundries’ Walter Ng. “That is what pays the bills.” One cool thing is a low-power CMOS photonics 40 Gb/s optical interconnect made by LightWire using one 130nm plus one 65nm SoC chip.
The company is engaged in R&D from universities to apps labs, and has different teams collaborating on process, design, and manufacturing improvements. The R&D ecosystem for GlobalFoundries has expanded beyond the IBM Common Platform Alliance and now includes IMEC, Intermolecular, and PDF Solutions.