GlobalFoundries (GF) on Tuesday announced the availability of a new addition to its 12 Leading Performance (12LP) platform, called 12LP+. The company claims it will feature a noticeable increase in performance and decrease in power and area. It also contains a low-voltage SRAM bit cell.
GlobalFoundries (GF) is promising much of the power and performance benefits of 7nm but at the lower cost of the 12LP platform. It also delivers a 15% increase in logic transistor density.
More specifically, GF said the 12LP+ FinFET process provides a 20% increase in performance or a 40% decrease in power over the base 12LP platform, (which itself provided 10% improvement over 16/14nm and a 15% improvement in logic area scaling). That's the same amount of improvement that TSMC claimed when comparing its 7nm process to 16nm, (although, TSMC also had 10nm before reaching 7nm).
In a statement, GF compared its new process to 7nm and also mentioned its lower cost: "As an advanced 12nm technology, our 12LP+ solution already offers clients a majority of the performance and power advantages they would expect to gain from a 7nm process, but their NRE (non-recurring engineering) costs will average only about half as much, a significant savings."
Another new feature is a 0.5V SRAM cell, which GF claimed is high-speed and low-power, and useful for data shuffling between memory and processor, such as in artificial intelligence (AI) applications. For AI applications, GF provides a design reference package and design-technology co-development (DTCO) services. There is also a new interposer for 2.5D packaging to facilitate high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Lastly, the company also said Arm has developed both Artisan physical IP and POP IP for AI applications, which will also be made available for 12LP.
GlobalFoundries is aiming for AI and cloud chips and said it already has several customers. Tape-outs are expected in the second half of 2020, and volume production is schedule for 2021.