During its GTC 2010 technology conference
, Globalfoundries announced an aggressive silicon foundry strategy
with a new 28nm High-K metal gate (HKMG) fabrication process and for the first time has publicly unveiled its 22nm/20nm manufacturing roadmap.
Over the next few years, the company is expected to hold a strong focus on its three 28nm node offerings. These processes include a 28nm HPP (high-performance plus) offering targeted at smartphones requiring more than 2GHz of power, a 28nm HP (high-performance) offering targeted at wired applications such as enterprise servers and media processors, and a 28nm SLP (super-low power) offering targeted at power-sensitive mobile and consumer applications.
After risk production begins of its 28nm HPP (high-performance plus) node in the fourth quarter of 2011, the company plans to begin risk production of extremely dense 22nm/20nm advanced technologies in the second half of 2012. "We ramped to volume production at the 45/40nm generation well ahead of all [other] foundries and we are poised to maintain this leadership at 32/28nm, with plans to extend this to the 22/20nm node," said Gregg Bartlett, Globalfoundries senior VP of technology and R&D. To put the technology in perspective, the 22nm advanced process node has been cited to be just 25 percent the size of the current 45nm node used by both AMD and Intel today.
After risk production kicks off in the second half of 2012, Globalfoundries is set to introduce products based on 22nm/20nm advanced technologies sometime in 2013. In particular, the Dresden, Germany-based fab is already starting work on developing the 22nm CMOS process and will run the process in volume. "The 22nm node is being worked on in Fab 1, and elsewhere. Fab 1 will pilot ramp and go to some volume in 22nm," said Udo Nothelfer, General Manager of Fab 1 back in March. Development on the 22nm process has also been referenced to the IBM-led technology alliance between Globalfoundries, Infeneon, NEC, Samsung, Toshiba, STMicroelectronics and others.
In addition, the fabrication giant indicated that the 22/20nm technologies are planned to be a full node shrink from 32/28nm, and will utilize next-generation HKMG (hi-k metal gate) technology. The process lineup includes a 22nm SHP (super-high performance) offering targeted at devices requiring the utmost in performance, a 20nm HP (high-performance) offering targeted at wired applications such as enterprise servers and media processors, and a 20nm SLP (super-low power) offering targeted at power-sensitive mobile and consumer applications.
All in all, Globalfoundries' advanced process timeframes are in line with main rival TSMC's (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), but are behind Intel's. Based on current expectations, Intel plans to introduce the world's first 22nm technology in its Ivy Bridge processors (Sandy Bridge successor) at the beginning of 2012. In other words, Intel will come in first place with the 20nm SHP process, Globalfoundries will come in second and TSMC will place in third.