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Globalfoundries, a contract maker of semiconductors controlled by Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, said on Thursday that it had cancelled its 32nm bulk fabrication process technology with high-k metal gate (HKMG). The company became the second foundry to scrap 32nm bulk process tech and proceed directly to 28nm HKMG manufacturing technology.

“All of our efforts around next-gen graphics and wireless are focused on 28nm with HKMG and we no longer have a 32nm bulk process. We removed this off our roadmap due to lack of customer demand as most are making the jump from 40/45nm right to 28nm,” said Jon Carvill, the head of public relations at Globalfoundries.

Earlier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of semiconductor, decided to scrap plans for its 32nm bulk process technology, which caused several companies to reconsider their own roadmaps. TSMC’s 32nm bulk fabrication process did not feature HKMG and was largely considered as shrink of the company’s 40nm fabrication process.

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.

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

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 04/03/10 10:32:54 AM
Latest comment: 04/11/10 04:46:41 PM
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1. 
Globalfoundries Scraps 32nm Bulk Fabrication Process and proceed directly to 28nm HKMG manufacturing technology
..It's NOT clear::
Desperate move?
or
technological breakthru?
-VJO
0 0 [Posted by: VladimirOrlovsky  | Date: 04/03/10 10:32:54 AM]
Reply

2. 
What is not clear. World recession. And that fabless chip makers arent frenzy enough to jump from node to node eagerly enough like they use to. 32nm node probably didnt seem as good transition cause it didnt offer basic 2x shrink from good enough and in meantime, probably, much cheaper 40nm node.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 04/05/10 05:16:16 AM]
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3. 
The difference between 32nm and 28nm is only 4nm...Negligible! A 20nm process would have been more interesting.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/06/10 04:47:05 AM]
Reply
- collapse thread

 
28nm is 87.5% of 32nm. By comparison, 55nm is 84.6% of 28nm.

I think it makes sense for both TSMC and GF to skip 32nm given the astronomical costs of developing a fab process and the likely delays. So it's better to just go for another half-node shrink that will make it more worthwhile, even if it takes another 2 quarters of preparation. TSMC's 40nm process still has some maturing left to go and ATI could certainly make bigger Southern Island GPU's on 40nm while still being less power-hungry and also faster than Fermi's.
0 0 [Posted by: Bo_Fox  | Date: 04/11/10 04:46:41 PM]
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