This week it emerged that Globalfoundries will delay the roll-out of its 32nm SOI process technology by several months, which naturally raised questions regarding shifts of AMD’s roadmap in regards of its highly-anticipated code-named Bulldozer microprocessors. But is the postponement that dramatic?
Globalfoundries, a joint-venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, said this week that it would initiate “risk production” of chips on 32nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process technology in the third quarter of 2010, not the first quarter of next year, as planned initially. But while Globalfoundries claims that its schedules are aligned with plans of its clients; AMD, who is the only customer for 32nm SOI at Globalfoundries, states that it would not delay its code-named Orochi processor that is based on Bulldozer micro-architecture.
“The 32nm technology development is on track and aligned with AMD's product needs. We have solid natural yields ramping up every week, and we have high confidence in our ability to demonstrate the same robust yields and manufacturing capability on 32nm that we have historically had,” said Jason Gorss, a spokesperson for Globalfoundries.
However, AMD also claims that will not delay its highly-awaited code-named Orochi processors, which are powered by Bulldozer micro-architecture. In fact, AMD states that it is completely on track with its next-generation central processing unit. Originally, AMD claimed that it would ramp up 32nm CPUs in mid-2010.
“On our side, there is no change to the 32nm roadmap or plans we communicated at our financial analyst event last November. At that point, we said we expected to enter 32nm production in the second half of 2010 and introduce products to market in early 2011. No changes on our end. We are executing to our roadmaps […] AMD will enter production in 2H 2010 with products out in market in early 2011,” said Michael Silverman, a spokesperson for AMD.
According to the information that X-bit labs has, there are several iterations that AMD processors reach before they get to the market:
- Pre-Sample processors that are only used for internal evaluation, testing, etc.;
- EVT – for evaluation by makers of personal computers, mainboards, etc.;
- DVT – for development of actual personal computers or mainboards;
- Initial Production – represents schedule projections for limited volume production line qualification use only, not intended for full production volume support;
- Mass Production - represents schedule projections for full production volume support.
At this point it is not completely clear whether “risk production” in Globalfoundries’ terminology is equal to pre-sample or EVT iterations in AMD's terminology, or first samples, in general understanding. Still, AMD promises Bulldozer chips in early 2011, which is quite a promising schedule.
In addition, Globalfoundries said that it would also delay manufacturing of chips at 40/45nm bulk nodes in order to meet schedules of its customer STMicroelectronics.
“Our 40/45nm bulk roadmap is aligned to the needs of our first customer for that process,” said Jon Carvill, the head of public relations at Globalfoundries.
Globalfoundries’ 28nm and 32nm bulk technologies roadmaps are on schedule.