GlobalFoundries Unleashing 7-nm Process Tech in 2017

During the Common Platform Technology Forum last week, GlobalFoundries and its partners disclosed some of their long-term plans. This included ramping up production using 14-nm-XM process tech by 2014, and possibly going into mass production with 7-nm fabrication technology by 2017.

Xbit labs reports that GlobalFoundries will initiate production using 20-nm process technology in 2013. The hybrid 14-nm-XM process, which combines 14-nm FinFET transistors with 20-nm back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnected flow, will be ramped up in 2014. Then in 2015 the company plans to intro 7-nm technology and the 10-nm-XM hybrid process which will utilize 10-nm FinFET with 14-nm BEOL.

According to a chart provided by GlobalFoundries, 28-nm LPH parts for the "wireless/mobile computing/ digital consumer" sector have already entered production, and will be followed by 20-nm LPM parts for "wired applications/networking" sometime this year. Later on the company will begin manufacturing 14-nm XM parts for both categories, followed by 10-nm XM parts in early 2015.

The report said that members of the Common Platform alliance plan to speed up development and deployment of new process technologies by launching the tech before it’s approved by IBM. This is expected to speed up time-to-market and maturity of the latest manufacturing tech, but at a higher cost for the foundries.

GlobalFoundries, which seems unfazed by the current PC decline, will reportedly be able to process around 190,000 300-mm wafers per month by late 2013 including 20-nm, 28-nm, 32-nm, 40-nm and other process technologies. Meanwhile, rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) already processes over a million 300-mm wafers per month, and is expect to boost its output by the end of 2013.


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