Globalfoundries and Samsung Electronics, on Tuesday said they would synchronize global semiconductor fabrication facilities to produce chips based on a new high-performance and low-leakage 28nm high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology. As a result of the collaboration, Globalfoundries and Samsung will be able to make 28nm chips for the same customers.
The 28nm high-performance process technology for mobile devices has been specifically developed for chips aimed at mobile device applications, offering 60% of active power reduction at the same frequency or 55% of performance boost at the same leakage over 45nm low power (LP) SoC designs.
“With this new collaboration, we are making one of the industry’s strongest manufacturing partnerships even stronger, while giving customers another platform to drive innovation in mobile technology. Customers using this new offering will gain accelerated time to volume production and assurance of supply, and they will be able to leverage significant learning from the foundry industry’s first high-volume ramp of HKMG technology at 32nm in H1 2011,” said Jim Kupec, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Globalfoundries.
By virtue of the synchronization, the collaboration presents a “virtual fab” that derives manufacturing capacity from four geographically diverse fabs. Each company has two 300mm fabs that will qualify the technology: Globalfoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany and Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York; and Samsung S1 in Giheung, Korea and the company’s recently expanded fab, S2 in Austin, Texas. The four fabs represent a global footprint estimated to be the largest in the foundry industry for leading-edge capacity, offering customer choice enabled by close collaboration and an unparalleled de-risking of supply chain uncertainties.
In 2010, Globalfoundries and Samsung announced a fab synchronization on low-power 28nm HKMG technology in collaboration with IBM and STMicroelectronics. This low-power technology is qualified and fully design enabled with standard cell libraries, memory compilers, and additional complex IP blocks. The high-performance offering complements the low-power technology, extending the frequency of operation for high-performance smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers, while retaining ultra-low leakage transistors and memories to enable the long battery life needed for mobile environments.
The synchronization process helps ensure consistent production worldwide, enabling customer chip designs to be produced at multiple sources with no redesign required, leveraging the customers’ design investments.