Globalfoundries Denies Issues with 32nm Process Technology Again [UPDATED]

AMD on Track to Start Shipments of 32nm SOI Products in 1H 2011

by Anton Shilov
01/11/2011 | 09:59 PM

UPDATE: Adding a comment from Jon Peddie of JPR in the last paragraph.


Globalfoundries, the contract maker of semiconductors that produces leading-edge microprocessors for Advanced Micro Devices, denied rumours earlier spread by a financial analyst about further delays of production using 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology. As reported previously, AMD's 32nm SOI plans remain on track.

"We have absolutely made no changes to our 32nm guidance. We are making good progress and our ramp is on track support AMD's plans to ship product to customers 1H 2011," said Jon Carvill, vice president of global communications at Globalfoundries.

Back in early November it was reported citing unofficial sources that AMD would start production of its desktop microprocessors with Bulldozer micro-architecture sometime in April '11, whereas mass production of code-named Llano accelerated processing units (APUs) for desktops and mobiles will commence in July '11. Sometimes in May or June the company is also expected to begin manufacturing of server-class processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture.

On Tuesday a financial analyst implied on further delays of 32nm SOI production at Globalfoundries.

"Consensus is clearly negative on AMD’s ability to execute, but our work (and Mr. Meyer’s resignation) suggests these concerns might even be worse than many fear. With the 32nm ramp at GlobalFoundries delayed, and the ability to value-price Fusion products in some doubt, we see no reason to move off our negative bias," Daniel Berenbaum, an analyst with Auriga investment firm, wrote in a note to clients.

The first desktop Bulldozer-based chips code-named Zambezi are expected to be eight-core products with 95W and 125W thermal design power as well as 8MB L3 cache. Later in the second quarter of 2011 AMD, according to sources with knowledge of the company's roadmap, will release six-core chips with 8MB L3 cache and four-core products with 4MB cache. All of the processors will feature TurboCore 2.0 technology, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller with up to 1866MHz memory support and will be compatible with AM3+ mainboards based on AMD 900-series chipsets.

There will be three types of code-named Llano desktop chips to be released in the third quarter of 2011: quad-core and triple-core Beavercreek chips with 65W or 100W thermal design power as well as dual-core Winterpark APU with 65W TDP, according to unofficial sources. Since Llano is by definition a mainstream unit, there will over seven models launched in the third quarter of next year. All of the chips will support DirectX 11 graphics UVD 3 video engine and will be available in FM1 form-factor. While the capabilities of Llano designs for notebooks will be the same as for desktops, power consumption of such APUs will be lower. In addition, AMD may try to launch the notebook flavour of the product earlier than the desktop version.

"I visited GlobalFoundries in Dresden in late September. In November I met with their executive staff and their investors at ATIC. At CES I spoke with them again. I have held wafers of 32nm Llano chips and been given assurances from the top management on down that not only is the process running well, its yield ramp is ahead of schedule. AMD is shipping early volume production parts now I am told," said Jon Peddie, the principal analyst at Jon Peddie Research, a technology market tracking firm.