SAN FRANCISCO—Global foundries has commenced initial production at the company's $4.6 billion fab in upstate New York, the company said Monday (Jan. 9).
Globalfounries (Sunnyvale, Calif.) commenced product at the 300-mm fab in Malta, N.Y., by building 32-nm chips for IBM Corp., the company said. The chips are being built based on IBM's silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology and will be in volume production in the second half of the year, Globalfoundries said.
"Today’s announcement is a natural extension of our longstanding partnership with IBM that includes production of 65-nm and 45-nm chips at our fabs in Singapore and Germany," said Globalfoundries CEO Ajit Manocha, in a statement. "With the addition of our newest factory in New York, we will now be jointly producing chips with IBM at four fabs on three continents."
Globalfoundries’ new Fab 8 campus is located in the Luther Forest Technology Campus about 100 miles north of the IBM campus in East Fishkill, N.Y. It is the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry facility in the U.S., according to Globalfoundries. When fully ramped, the total clean-room space will be approximately 300,000 square feet and will be capable of a total output of approximately 60,000 wafers per month, Globalfoundries said. The fab will focus on leading-edge manufacturing at 32- and 28-nm and below.
The chips Globalfoundries is manufacturing for IBM feature embedded dynamic random access memory (eDRAM) technology, said to improve on-processor memory performance in about one-third the space with one-fifth the standby power of conventional SRAM, Globalfoundries said.
IBM's 32nm eDRAM process was announced in 2009, but the question it would be interesting to know the answer to is WHAT "IBM chips with 32nm eDRAM on SOI" will GF be manufacturing ... which I doubt we will learn.
These can't be Power7 ... that's 45nm, and I doubt IBM would farm those out in any event. These are likely IBM-contracted merchant ASICs , and what they are and where they are going and why IBM is willing to see GF fab them is the interesting story as I see it ... all details we'll likely not be told.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.