SANTA CLARA, Calif. Ė In the latest look down its road map, GlobalFoundries claims it is shipping thousands of 32-nm wafers a week, gearing up multiple 28-nm offerings for 2012 and planning first customer tape outs using a planar 20-nm process at the end of next year.
The company's recent partnership with Amkor Technology will help pave a path to new kinds of 3-D ICs, potentially at 28 and 20 nm. In addition it has ordered an extreme ultraviolet lithography system to be installed late next year that may be tested out in a 20-nm process and applied for work at 14 nm.
GlobalFoundries will sketch out its road map at its annual Global Technology Conference here Tuesday (Aug. 30).
"We are producing 65-, 45-, 32- and 28-nm 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 and customers of Chartered Semiconductor it acquired in 2009.
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 32-nm 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 28-nm processes sometime in 2012. At the event, the company will demonstrate a 3 GHz version of a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 chip made in its high performance 28-nm process and a 2 GHz version made in a low power flavor as early proof points of the node.
It will also describe a new high performance, low power 28-nm process geared for smartphone, tablets and notebooks it will release in tandem with Samsung. Compared to a 45-nm node, the new process could cut active power 60 percent while maintaining chip frequency or boost performance 55 percent while maintaining power leakage levels, it claimed.
Four 300-mm 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, Texas.