GlobalFoundries Performs AMD Zen Magic With Successful 14nm FinFET Tape Out

Today's a good day for for AMD. GlobalFoundries, the former manufacturing arm of AMD that became fully independent in 2012, announced today that it achieved "silicon success" with the first AMD products using a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process. Going forward, multiple AMD products will benefit from this.

The 14nm FinFET process was developed by Samsung and licensed to GlobalFoundries last year as part of a strategic collaboration the two firms entered into. It was always the intention of GlobalFoundries to integrate 14nm FinFET technology into products for AMD, the latter of which is currently in the process of validating 14nn Low Power Plus (14LPP) production samples.

GlobalFoundries

"FinFET technology is expected to play a critical foundational role across multiple AMD product lines, starting in 2016," said Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer at AMD. "GlobalFoundries has worked tirelessly to reach this key milestone on its 14LPP process. We look forward to GlobalFoundries' continued progress towards full production readiness and expect to leverage the advanced 14LPP process technology across a broad set of our CPU, APU, and GPU products."

The 14nm FinFET process is based on a technology platform that taps the benefits of three-dimensional, fully depleted FinFET transistors as a way around the technical limitations of planar transistor technology. According to Samsung, it enables up to 20 percent higher speeds, consumes 35 percent less power, and boasts 15 percent area scaling over industry 20nm planar technology.

It's a little vague what GlobalFoundries means by saying it achieved "silicon success," though the chip maker added that 14LPP FinFET is ramping with production-ready yields at its Fab 8 facility in New York. Earlier this year, it qualified an "early-access" version of the technology (14LPE) for volume production, followed by the qualification of the performance-enhanced version (14LPP) in the third quarter. Early ramp will occur in the fourth quarter with full scale production scheduled for 2016, GlobalFoundries said.

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