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Globalfoundries Accelerates Roadmap: 14nm Chips in 2014

By - Source: Globalfoundries | B 34 comments

Semiconductor contract manufacturer Globalfoundries announced its vision of future mobile chips and confirmed that it will be offering a 20 nm process in 2013 and 14 nm in 2014.

The company is planning to catch up with Intel's manufacturing process, which is scheduled to shrink to 14 nm in late 2013.

Globalfoudnries said that its 14 nm process, called 14XM (XM stands for "extreme mobility"), will deliver 3D FinFET transistor production capability with planar technology pulled from the 20 nm process to enable a fast transition to 14 nm. For the 2014 transistor generation, Globalfoundries promises a 20 to 55 percent performance advantage over 20 nm devices, while mobile devices using these chips will be able to achieve 40 to 60 percent better battery life.

The production roadmap ties in nicely with previous announcements of an expanded collaboration with ARM that should allow Globalfoundries to attract more ARM manufacturing business. Given the fact that Intel is aggressively moving its manufacturing roadmap as well, and using its manufacturing prowess to make its SoC more competitive, the announcement from Globalfoundries indicates that we will be seeing a very competitive mobile chip market over the next few years.

 

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  • 17 Hide
    commandersozo , September 20, 2012 11:11 PM
    jupiter optimus maximusAmazing that we were at 65nm 4 years ago and now we are going into the 14nm territory in two years. So how close to quantum computing are we now?

    The jump to quantum computing isn't a matter of getting current design standards miniaturized, it's a whole new paradigm.
  • 14 Hide
    blazorthon , September 20, 2012 10:40 PM
    Global Foundries seems to have been improving lately. Perhaps their deals with Samsung have been more beneficial than I first thought that they'd be.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    blazorthon , September 20, 2012 10:40 PM
    Global Foundries seems to have been improving lately. Perhaps their deals with Samsung have been more beneficial than I first thought that they'd be.
  • 1 Hide
    jdwii , September 20, 2012 10:46 PM
    I don't think they can do this, Look at their 32nm die at release and the issues it was having.
  • 7 Hide
    blazorthon , September 20, 2012 10:48 PM
    jdwiiI don't think they can do this, Look at their 32nm die at release and the issues it was having.


    Their 32nm node wasn't great, but they've had a few deals and such with Samsung, so they might pull this off. Samsung is most definitely not a slouch in manufacturing as far as I'm aware.
  • 7 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , September 20, 2012 11:04 PM
    Amazing that we were at 65nm 4 years ago and now we are going into the 14nm territory in two years. So how close to quantum computing are we now?
  • 7 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , September 20, 2012 11:05 PM
    If GF can pull this off, it would allow them to catch up to Intel in terms of process size. I have some serious doubts though, as would anyone who's been following the recent manufacturing trends at GF. I mean realistically, two major process shrinks in a row, year after year? It seems above and beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced manufacturing companies, much less GF.
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , September 20, 2012 11:07 PM
    jupiter optimus maximusAmazing that we were at 65nm 4 years ago and now we are going into the 14nm territory in two years. So how close to quantum computing are we now?


    We're probably at least a few decades off of quantum computing getting much relevance in consumer computing.
  • 17 Hide
    commandersozo , September 20, 2012 11:11 PM
    jupiter optimus maximusAmazing that we were at 65nm 4 years ago and now we are going into the 14nm territory in two years. So how close to quantum computing are we now?

    The jump to quantum computing isn't a matter of getting current design standards miniaturized, it's a whole new paradigm.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , September 20, 2012 11:16 PM
    dragonsqrrlIf GF can pull this off, it would allow them to catch up to Intel in terms of process size. I have some serious doubts though, as would anyone who's been following the recent manufacturing trends at GF. I mean realistically, two major process shrinks in a row, year after year? It seems above and beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced manufacturing companies, much less GF.


    I'm sure that Intel and Samsung could do it. So long as GF doesn't wait until after their 28nm and 20nm processes are finished to work on the 14nm process, it could be done on time. All that it would take is using an different tech team to work it out than the one that works on 20nm and have them working at about the same time. I don't claim to knwo if they'll succeed or not, but it is possible and it's also even practical.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , September 21, 2012 12:38 AM
    jupiter optimus maximusAmazing that we were at 65nm 4 years ago and now we are going into the 14nm territory in two years. So how close to quantum computing are we now?
    Intel/AMD has been knowned to make large die size CPU as large as 300-400mm2 for quite some time already. Fabs are moving to 450mm wafer too, this lower the cost further and allow more chips to fit per wafer or bigger die size.

    if we actually hit the limit of silicon, you u likely to see Intel/AMD start making larger die CPU until it become too big to be profitable b4 they switch to something else other than silicon. Intel Ivy is @ 160mm2 @ 22nm, Haswell retain the 4 core, so we still got some room to grow die size to 300-400mm2. *Nehelem 1156 is 296mm2 tho.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , September 21, 2012 12:57 AM
    TomfreakIntel/AMD has been knowned to make large die size CPU as large as 300-400mm2 for quite some time already. Fabs are moving to 450mm wafer too, this lower the cost further and allow more chips to fit per wafer or bigger die size.if we actually hit the limit of silicon, you u likely to see Intel/AMD start making larger die CPU until it become too big to be profitable b4 they switch to something else other than silicon. Intel Ivy is @ 160mm2 @ 22nm, Haswell retain the 4 core, so we still got some room to grow die size to 300-400mm2. *Nehelem 1156 is 296mm2 tho.


    It gets more difficult and more difficult to make such large CPU dies with smaller and smaller processes, especially without dropping frequencies at least a little. Die shrinks seem to shrink the size by much more than they shrink the power consumption at a given frequency, so it'd take serious CPU design improvements to counteract this.
  • 3 Hide
    Shin-san , September 21, 2012 1:45 AM
    Hopefully this will help AMD to catch up. The process die size has been an Intel advantage for a very long time
  • 1 Hide
    idroid , September 21, 2012 2:19 AM
    Sweet!!
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 21, 2012 2:30 AM
    How about they get 28nm working right first. Also, not all processes are made equal. Just because one company is at 14 doesn't mean their process is as good as another at 14. Solve the issues of yield first. Solve the issues that they will have going from gate first to gate last (Intel AND TSMC already do this). Then solve the FinFETissues as we know that is not easy based on Intel's difficulties. Then... then... we can talk about 14, but all that has to be solved before they can go to 22/20nm.

    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2011/01/20/ibm-and-globalfoundries-go-gate-last-for-20/1

    GF is still WAY behind.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , September 21, 2012 2:39 AM
    TheTruthIsHow about they get 28nm working right first. Also, not all processes are made equal. Just because one company is at 14 doesn't mean their process is as good as another at 14. Solve the issues of yield first. Solve the issues that they will have going from gate first to gate last (Intel AND TSMC already do this). Then solve the FinFETissues as we know that is not easy based on Intel's difficulties. Then... then... we can talk about 14, but all that has to be solved before they can go to 22/20nm. http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardw [...] t-for-20/1GF is still WAY behind.


    Oh no, they're way behind because they decided to change from gate-first to gate-last processes. Also, what difficulties is Intel having with their FinFET tech?

    Furthermore, problems with one process doesn't mean that they'll have problems with much newer processes even if they're a smaller process.
  • 0 Hide
    bigdog44 , September 21, 2012 3:38 AM
    Don't get too excited. The 3D implies tri-gate, but it's planar and not the same design as Intels', which also implies lower transistor density and lower structural strenght of the circuits.
  • 2 Hide
    abitoms , September 21, 2012 4:09 AM
    Good to hear it is coming in 2014. but when in 2014? Q1, Q4 or something in between?

    And ramping up to 14nm means actual retail 14nm chips will come out in 2015 right?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 21, 2012 6:24 AM
    You know changing from gate first to gate last is not as easy as it sounds right? Intel had several issues moving to FinFET. Only one product line is even using FinFET currently (no Atom, no Itanium, etc.). None of this is simple. The fact that they have struggled going from 32 to 28nm doesn't bode well for these far more intrusive changes. I have my sincere doubts about 2014 as should anyone based on their track record. Yes, blazorthorn, they are way behind. No other way to articulate that. Just because they state something in an article doesn't mean it will come true.
  • -2 Hide
    TeraMedia , September 21, 2012 1:56 PM
    Who'd have thought that in the end the CPU competitor for Intel wouldn't be AMD, but rather the fab it spun off? If ARM and Samsung are throwing cash in the game to help R&D costs, then GF might actually have a chance at competing against Intel's fab R&D group. That in turn would help level the playing field for chip designers so that Intel's CPU design team doesn't start out 20-50% better than AMD or ARM before they've even drawn a transistor.

    I wish them luck.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , September 21, 2012 2:34 PM
    dragonsqrrlIf GF can pull this off, it would allow them to catch up to Intel in terms of process size. I have some serious doubts though, as would anyone who's been following the recent manufacturing trends at GF. I mean realistically, two major process shrinks in a row, year after year? It seems above and beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced manufacturing companies, much less GF.

    Yeah i guess that's why Intel waits at least two years before the next shrink...
  • -1 Hide
    blazorthon , September 21, 2012 2:38 PM
    ojasYeah i guess that's why Intel waits at least two years before the next shrink...


    Intel waits two years because it is convenient, not because they have to wait. Why have a die shrink every year when they can do just fine with a die shrink every two years or so? If it was difficult and they needed more time, then they'd just get separate teams working on each die shrink simultaneously and they could churn out a die shrink as often as they want to until nothing more can be had from die shrinking without some other technology changes.
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