IBM’s Bulk Alliance Set to Make Chips Using 28nm Production Process

Chartered, Globalfoundries, IBM, Others Disclose Plans for 28nm Process Technology

by Anton Shilov
04/16/2009 | 07:24 AM

IBM’s Bulk Process Alliance – which includes Chartered Semiconductor, Globalfoundries, IBM, Infineon Technologies, Samsung Electronics and ST Microelectronics – on Thursday said that that it would start making chips using low power 28nm fabrication process with high-K metal gate (HKMG) dielectrics in the second half of 2010.


“Through this collaboration, IBM and its alliance partners are helping to accelerate development of next-generation technology to achieve high-performance, energy-efficient chips at the 28nm process level, maintaining our focus on technology leadership for our clients and partners.” said Gary Patton, vice president for IBM’s semiconductor research and development center.

This announcement represents an extension of existing joint development agreements, and further progression in the technology offerings of the alliance partners, building on the success of earlier joint development work in 32nm HKMG technology.

A 28nm low-power technology evaluation kit was previously made available in December 2008 to early access clients, followed by release in March 2009 of an evaluation kit for open access to the general marketplace.  Early risk production is anticipated in the second half of 2010. 

“We see 28nm is a important cross-over node (along with 32nm) in third-party customer acquisition with tremendous interest from prospective customers. 28nm low power technology in particular is ideally suited to areas like wireless and consumer electronics,” said Jon Carvill, director of corporate communications at Globalfoundries.

Earlier this week a vice president of Globalfoundries said in an interview with X-bit labs that 32nm/28nm process technologies will be used to make graphics processing units for ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices.

The low-power, 28nm technology platform can provide power-performance and time-to-market advantages for producers of a broad range of power-sensitive mobile and consumer electronics applications, including the fast-growing mobile Internet device market segment. The favorable leakage characteristics of the HKMG technology result in optimized battery life for the next generation of mobile products.

“It further strengthens our ability to compete and win in the graphics business – which is an industry that has embraced half nodes for some time. We plan to accept 28nm designs in 2H10 in Fab 1 in Dresden with production shortly thereafter,” said Mr. Carvill.