Even though over the past few weeks numerous observers have discussed possibilities of Advanced Micro Devices to release its next-gen six-core and twelve-core microprocessors featuring high-k metal gate dielectrics (HKMG) on the 45nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process technology in the first quarter of 2010, there are no such chips coming, according to Globalfoundries, the contract maker that builds chips for AMD.
Recently Globalfoundries issued a brochure about its success with HKMG technology, a key enabler for the next-generation high-performance chips. Among other things, the contract manufacturer of semiconductors said that its “customers will begin to announce HKMG product results in early 2010 – not test chips, not 64M SRAMs, not IP shuttle results, but full products” and added that the success will be akin to “45/40nm ramp” and will be “far ahead of any other pure play foundry”. The claims by Globalfoundries quickly inspired rumours about possible implementation of high-k gate dielectrics into 45nm SOI process technology, granted that the forthcoming chips from the AMD carry new PH-Ex revision name and have numerous performance and power consumption enhancements. Nevertheless, Globalfoundries and AMD have never had plans to implement HKMG into current-gen processes and products.
“We have no HKMG process at 40/45nm SOI or Bulk. The statement in our brochure is related to us introducing products using HKMG technology into our fab in Q1. We are not specifying who (as we have multiple customers that have lined up to support our HKMG technology) or what products (or exact process variant) at this time. HKMG is focused on 32nm/28nm generations,” said Jon Carvill, the head of public relations at Globalfoundries.
AMD also said that HKMG is not a part of 40nm/45nm CPU product roadmap.