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Thread: Globalfoundries Scraps 32nm Bulk Fabrication Process

  1. #1

    Globalfoundries Scraps 32nm Bulk Fabrication Process

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/d...n_Process.html

    ?All of our efforts around next-gen graphics and wireless are focused on 28nm with HKMG and we no longer have a 32nm bulk process. We removed this off our roadmap due to lack of customer demand as most are making the jump from 40/45nm right to 28nm,? said Jon Carvill, the head of public relations at Globalfoundries.
    I don't have anything to discuss at the moment, though i thought this was important enough to share.

  2. #2
    Good article. I don't know enough about the technical aspects of it all, wavelength, masks, lenses, immersion techniques, etc that make it all happen to chime in, but from a business standpoint it looks like GF is trying to get back to (almost) par with Intel.

    Intel has been cranking out 32nm chips for several months now, while GloFo is for all intents and purposes a whole lithography generation behind Intel... and the gap has only been widening in recent history due to Intel's tick-tock execution strategy. If GloFo can have production ready silicon on 28nm by 3Q or 4Q 2010, then they would have the temporary leg up on Intel's 32nm process for a few quarters, perhaps gaining some mind-share back from hardware fanbois (average consumers will care less)

    The victory will be short lived however as Intel plans to roll out small 5K batches of 22nm wafers before the end of 2010, with production ramps in 2011, or possible 2012 depending on market/demand factors - Citation .

    If they can pull off 28nm reliably by the end of 2010, in my mind that would put GloFo about half a generation behind Intel again, closing the gap, as I highly doubt they will have anything smaller than 28nm until well into Intel's 22nm fiesta.
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  3. #3
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    per above:

    Late 2011 is the earliest I would expect 22nm Intel products as 32nm Sandy Bridge is Q1 '11. Internal ramps are irrelevant.

    GF will 'require 22nm SOI before 2H 2012' so we could see AMD 22nm products in 1H '12.

    So, six month gap? That would be better than the 45nm and 32nm gaps.

  4. #4
    Looks like GF is getting serious with TSMC and clients. I wonder how this will affect Bulldozer and Llano? Llano was supposed to be 32nm this 2nd half, correct?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PorscheRacer14 View Post
    Looks like GF is getting serious with TSMC and clients. I wonder how this will affect Bulldozer and Llano? Llano was supposed to be 32nm this 2nd half, correct?
    Llano is 32nm SOI not bulk at GF sometime 2011 hopefully 1st half

    Ron

  6. #6
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    The bulk processes are those used for chips like GPUs, correct?

    On a note about GloFo getting 28nm out before the end of the year, that might actually be a reasonable expectation since we've already seen 28nm wafers with chips that appear to be significantly more complex than just test structures.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Michigan View Post
    The bulk processes are those used for chips like GPUs, correct?

    On a note about GloFo getting 28nm out before the end of the year, that might actually be a reasonable expectation since we've already seen 28nm wafers with chips that appear to be significantly more complex than just test structures.
    Currently GPUs built at TSMC are all by bulk process.

    Llano does not look like it will be. AMD has "ported" (maybe the wrong word?) its GPU tech to a GloFo SOI process. So now they know a lot about how that is done, which no doubt sets up red flags for TSMC.

    The process that a GPU is built on is pretty much set in stone >>12 months before launch, to change it within that time frame means months of delays due to respec'ing and redesign, and would probably involve functional compromises when stuff there isn't time to design over to the new process has to get cut of the die.

    To go with GloFo 28nm at the end of this year, everything must already be in place for it. If not, then it will introduce a bunch of delays, in which case they might as well stick with TSMC 28nm in H1 2011 and save themselves a whole lot of work.

    Going with TSMC 40nm for SI is a good compromise: they know a heck of a lot about designing for the process so its not starting from scratch, and the process itself is now the best its ever been. (Not saying much there).
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    Oh, yeah, I don't expect AMD to get any graphics chips out of GloFo any time soon, I was just referring to CPUs.

  9. #9
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    I would expect some NI variants to come from GloFo, but the majority from TSMC. Over time this should shift more to GloFo, with the main driver being the process itself, not any external factor.

    -Charlie

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