So long SOI, you served us well
will complete its transition to bulk manufacturing in 2013. This will mark the end of the road for Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, which served AMD quite well for years.
AMD CTO Mark Papermaster confirmed that the company will shift to 28nm bulk CMOS process next year and SOI will become a thing of the past. However, AMD will apparently make no changes in GPU processes and it will continue to use TSMC’s 28nm process.
So, next generation AMD graphics, codenamed Sea Islands, should enter production using the same process toward the end of the year. So, rumours that GlobalFoundries might get a piece of the cake did not pan out. However, GlobalFoundries should start churning out 28nm chips nonetheless and we are not only talking about AMD designs.
And now for some nostalgia. AMD first used SOI on some of its most successful processors nearly a decade ago, namely Athlon 64 series parts which gave Intel chips of the day a run for their money. Sadly, the good days are long gone and at the moment AMD does not have any high-end chips that can go toe to toe with Intel’s Ivy Bridge parts.