Globalfoundries' Fab 8 Begins to Produce First Commercial Chips for Customers

IBM and Globalfoundries to Jointly Produce Chips at New York Fabs

by Anton Shilov
01/11/2012 | 10:12 AM

Globalfoundries this week said that it had began to produce commercial chips using 32nm silicon-on-insulator manufacturing technology at its Fab 8 in New York, U.S. The chips will be jointly made by IBM and Globalfoundries so to meet volume requirements. The chips are the first silicon produced at Globalfoundries' newest and most advanced manufacturing facility.

 

"We are running the first full-flow customer silicon at our new Fab 8 facility in Saratoga County, N.Y. In partnership with IBM, we will be jointly manufacturing advanced 32nm computer chips at both companies’ semiconductor fabs in New York’s 'Tech Valley'. The new products recently began initial production at IBM’s 300mm fab in East Fishkill and Globalfoundries Fab 8, and are planned to ramp to volume production in the second half of 2012," said Jason Gorss, a spokesman for Globalfounfries.

The chips are based on IBM's 32nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, which was jointly developed with Globalfoundries and other members of IBM's process development alliance. The technology vastly improves microprocessor performance in multi-core designs and speeds the movement of graphics in gaming, networking, and other image intensive, multi-media applications.

The new chips also will feature IBM's eDRAM (embedded dynamic random access memory) technology, which improves on-processor memory performance in about one-third the space with one-fifth the standby power of conventional SRAM (static random access memory).

The companies did not name actual beneficiary of those chips. It is highly likely that the processors produced at IBM and GF will power IBM's own machines, such as server, storage systems, supercomputers, or various IBM Power-based consumer electronics, e.g. game consoles.

"Today's announcement is a natural extension of our longstanding partnership with IBM that includes production of 65nm and 45nm chips at our fabs in Singapore and Germany. With the addition of our newest factory in New York, we will now be jointly producing chips with IBM at four fabs on three continents," said Ajit Manocha, chief executive officer of Globalfoundries.

Globalfoundries' new Fab 8 campus, located in the Luther Forest Technology Campus about 100 miles north of the IBM campus in East Fishkill, stands as one of the most technologically advanced wafer fabs in the world and the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States. When fully ramped, the total clean-room space will be approximately 300 thousand square feet and will be capable of a total output of approximately 60 000 wafers per month. Fab 8 will focus on leading-edge manufacturing at 32/28nm and below. Earlier Globalfoundries implied that it would start mass production of chips at Fab 8 in December, 2012.