To 20-nm and beyond
Separately, GlobalFoundries taped out its first 20-nm test chip. The company aims to make a planar process available in high performance and low power versions with first production tape outs anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Bartlett said the planar process will provide finer scaling and use fewer layers of double patterned 193-nm immersion lithography than Intel's 22-nm tri-gate transistor announced earlier this year. "We think our process provides the right balance for mobile systems that are concerned with performance, power and cost," he said.
Looking farther down the road, GlobalFoundries has ordered an ASML 3300 extreme ultraviolet lithography machine to be delivered to its New York fab at the end of 2012. It will try to prove out the EUV technology in a late version of the 20-nm node, but the company doesn't expect EUV to be required until the 14-nm node.
In packaging, customers will demand new kinds of 3-D chip stacks late in the 28-nm node or early in the 20-nm node, Bartlett predicted. Big graphics and networking chips will demand 3-D chip stacks using interposers. Mobile apps processors want 3-D stacks using through silicon vias, he said.
"The market is beginning to crystallize around certain subsets where system designers want to have that capability in hand," he said. But "the supply chain is nearly as complex as the technical solutions" for advanced 3-D ICs, he added.
Thus GlobalFoundries struck a co-development agreement in advanced packaging with Amkor Technology. It expects to strike similar deals with other companies to create a broader alliance of packaging partners.
Meanwhile Manocha said he is making it his top priority to get close to customers to develop reference accounts GlobalFoundries can talk about publicly. Manocha has not yet met the new chief executive of his biggest customer, Rory Read, named to head AMD last week.
GlobalFoundries has no acquisition plans on the table at this point, Manocha said. However it does have a team of 30 people in Abu Dhabi studying the feasibility of building a fab there someday, a goal of ATIC.
"We have identified a location for the fab near the airport, so the question is when not if and the when part has not been addressed yet—it depends on how the business grows," he said.
"The Abu Dhabi leadership decided to diversify its [oil] economy, and make semiconductors the seed for other high tech industries that will mushroom out of it into areas such as solar panels and LEDs," Manocha said.