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Globalfoundries, a joint-venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, said that it would provide additional details about its progress with 28nm and 32nm fabrication technologies at the forthcoming the Global Semiconductor Alliance Emerging Opportunities Expo and Conference (GSA Expo). Besides, the company revealed that it was on track for 50% natural yield by the end of the year with 32nm process tech.

Globalfoundries expects to start volume production of 32nm-SHP (Super High Performance) technology at Fab 1 in the second half of 2010. This technology will employ silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates and utilize Globalfoundries’ innovative “Gate First” approach to high-K metal gate (HKMG), which maximizes power efficiency and transistor scaling while minimizing die size and design complexity when compared to the alternative “Gate Last” approach. Yield progress continues with 24Mb SRAMs in double-digit natural yields on path to 50% natural yields by year-end.

“When compared against the 45nm-SHP technology we’re currently running in Fab 1, we’re seeing performance improvements of up to 50% in the 32nm generation at the same leakage levels of the 45nm generation. When you combine this with our patented Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) technology and exceptionally low defect densities, we believe we’ll be in the leading position among foundries to bring this technology to market in volume for our customers,” said Jim Doran, senior vice president and general manager of Fab 1 at Globalfoundries.

During the transition to the 45nm technology generation, Globalfoundries reached volume production at mature yield 2-3 quarters ahead of the rest of the foundry industry, while simultaneously implementing a complex new form of lithography – immersion lithography – ahead of all other semiconductor manufacturers, according to the company.

For the 28nm generation, which will be offered on bulk silicon substrates, the company will be accepting customer and third party IP designs in Q1 2010 on its shuttle service for low cost prototyping, with production planned in the second half of 2010. The 28nm technology offers the smallest SRAM cell size (0.120µm2) currently reported in the foundry industry, and an advantage in die size relative to 28nm “Gate Last” approaches. In addition, the Globalfoundries’ “Gate First” approach to HKMG simplifies 28nm design implementation and IP re-use for customers using conventional poly/SiON-based technology at the 45/40nm and 32nm nodes due to similar process flows and design rules.

Customers at the 28nm node will benefit from a high-volume ramp of leading-edge technology at the 32nm node. The 28nm node will be available in two variants:

  • The 28nm-HP (High Performance) variant will be optimized for leading-edge applications in such areas as graphics, game consoles, storage, networking and media encoding.
  • The 28nm-SLP (Super Low Power) variant is optimized for wireless mobile applications such as baseband, application processors, and other handheld functions that require long battery lifetime.

Globalfoundries’ 32nm and 28nm technologies with the “Gate First” approach to HKMG were originally developed in partnership with IBM through the company’s participation in the IBM Technology Alliance. IBM and its research partners first introduced the “Gate First” HKMG innovation in 2007 as the basis for a long-sought improvement to the transistor to deal with power leakage that emerged at the 45nm node.

Tags: Globalfoundries, Semiconductor, 32nm, 28nm, AMD, ATIC

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