by Anton Shilov
03/21/2012 | 08:06 PM
Globalfoundries announced on Wednesday that it had reached a major milestone at Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany: the shipment of a quarter million wafers based on 32nm high-K metal gate (HKMG) technology, which took about a year. The contract maker of semiconductors stressed that it had exceeded its customer’s product shipment requirements and the 32nm yield challenges are well behind it and AMD.
“In just one quarter, we were able to see more than a doubling of yields on 32nm, allowing us to exit 2011 having exceeded our 32nm product shipment requirements. Based on this successful ramp of 32nm HKMG, we are committed to moving ahead on 28nm with Globalfoundries,” said Rory Read, AMDs president and chief executive officer.
The milestone represents a significant lead over other foundries in HKMG manufacturing and carries on a long tradition of rapidly ramping leading-edge technologies to volume production. On a unit basis, cumulative 32nm shipments for the first five quarters of wafer production are more than double that achieved during the same period of the 45nm technology ramp, demonstrating that the overall 32nm ramp has significantly outpaced the 45nm ramp, despite the integration of a number of new and complex elements in both design and process technologies.
Globalfoundries manufactures critically important central processing unit (CPU) and accelerated processing unit (APU) products for AMD, including latest multi-core microprocessors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture as well as hybrid Fusion chips with x86 cores and graphics processors on a single piece of silicon. With 32nm HKMG supply unconstrained, AMD can now increase output of its latest chips, including new Opteron processors for servers, FX CPUs for desktops, A-series "Llano" and "Trinity" APUs for various client systems as well as other products, which will improve the company's margins and profitability.
“Early in 2011 we met significant challenges in early yield learning on 32nm HKMG. However, we made several organizational and operational changes in the second half of the year that led to a dramatic increase in production velocity and major breakthroughs in yield learning. And since our 28nm technology uses the same HKMG implementation as 32nm, AMD and other customers will benefit greatly from our high-volume ramp of leading-edge APUs at 32nm,” said Ajit Manocha, chief exec of Globalfoundries.
At Fab 1 in Dresden, Globalfoundries recently completed construction of an additional wafer manufacturing facility designed to add capacity at 45nm and below, which has the potential to increase the overall output of the Fab 1 campus to 80 thousand 300mm wafers per month once fully ramped. The expansion project is adding more than 110 thousand square feet of cleanroom space to the site, making Fab 1 the largest wafer fab in Europe for leading-edge technology. More than 50% of Fab 1’s production is now on HKMG technology. In addition to the 32nm technology, the company’s 28nm HKMG offerings are qualified and ready for design-in today.