Items tagged with GlobalFoundries

Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to 20nm production and/or a dedicated fab could fundamentally redefine the foundry-customer relationship and... Read more...
Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to 20nm production and/or a dedicated fab could fundamentally redefine the foundry-customer relationship... Read more...
Leading Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturer Soitec published an updated roadmap today, detailing how it plans to make fully-depleted SOI technology (FD-SOI) available through the 14nm process node, but there's some question as to the degree of industry support for the company's technology. In theory, FD-SOI could solve some of the scaling problems semiconductor foundries are facing, but the associated cost and difficulty of implementation are still unknowns. "Each new generation of technology faces unique challenges, and we currently are at an inflection point where we cannot rely solely on traditional CMOS technology to solve them," said Handel Jones, founder and CEO of International... Read more...
It's been six weeks since Eric Demers, AMD's CTO of graphics, left the company to pursue other opportunities, and another former ATI employee has followed his example. Godfrey Cheng, who recently served as one of AMD's Director of Client Technologies, has left the company. Cheng was part of AMD's high-profile Llano launch and reportedly chose to leave after it became clear that AMD wasn't going to follow Rick Bergman's ideas for how to best leverage AMD's graphics and APU assets. How much truth there is to that assertion is unclear. Bergman's departure was certainly surprising, but the slides AMD showed at Financial Analyst Day in February confirmed the shape of the slides Bergman showed in June... Read more...
To celebrate its third anniversary as a chip manufacturing foundry, Globalfoundries over the weekend announced an agreement with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to buy out all remaining shares to achieve full independence. Under the amended agreement, AMD will continue to be one of Globalfoundries' "primary and strategic customers," only without a stake in the foundry, which is now wholly owned by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC). "Today marks the start of a new era for Globalfoundries as it becomes a truly independent foundry," said Globalfoundries CEO Ajit Manocha. "Globalfoundries has a clear vision to be the leading semiconductor foundry partner to AMD and one of the world's... Read more...
Intel made headlines last year when it announced that it would fab 22nm products for FPGA designer Achronix. This week, the company has unveiled an additional 22nm partner. Santa Clara will also be building parts for Tabula and will build that company's new Spacetime microprocessors. Tabula claims that its new chip "uses time as a third dimension to deliver unmatched capability and affordability. Tabula achieves this breakthrough by combining the Spacetime hardware that dynamically reconfigures logic, memory, and interconnect at multi-GHz rates with the Spacetime compiler that manages this ultra-rapid reconfiguration transparently." That's so meaningless it hurts. It's a reconfigurable FPGA that... Read more...
AMD has confirmed that Eric Demers, AMD's graphics Chief Technology Officer and head of the graphics business unit, has left the company to "pursue other opportunities." His job will be taken over by Mark Papermaster until a replacement is found. AMD notes in a prepared statement that it "remains fully committed to our critical graphics IP development and discrete GPU products.  We have a tremendous depth of talent in our organization, a game plan that is resonating with our customers and our team, and we are continuing to bring graphics-performance-leading products to market.  We will attract the right technology leader for this role." Demers is just the latest executive to leave AMD--in... Read more...
Reports from multiple foundries suggest that the industry has had trouble ramping 28nm production, despite early bullish promises and repeated assurances. The situation is something of a high-tech 'I told you so.' As we've previously covered, each new process node has been an increasingly difficult shift as manufacturers have had to ramp new production technologies to build smaller parts. After TSMC's well-publicized problems ramping 40nm, it seemed unlikely that any foundry would be able to painlessly shift down to the 28nm node. Both GlobalFoundries and TSMC countered these rumors by detailing aggressive product ramps and, in TSMC's case, a separate 28nm process built using traditional SiON... Read more...
This week has been a good news / bad news for Sunnyvale--but the bad, at least, was somewhat expected. The company gave notice today that its third quarter revenue would be lower than expected, with estimated quarterly income up 4-6 percent from Q2 levels. That's significantly less than AMD's original projection of ~10 percent, plus or minus two percentage points. The company's notice comes a month after rumors began that Bulldozer shipments might be delayed due to manufacturing problems. AMD announced it was shipping its server CPU, Interlagos, for revenue several weeks ago, but that announcement was originally expected in August. The company's news release states: The less-than-forecasted preliminary... Read more...
Five of the largest and most advanced semiconductor manufacturers have signed a joint development and research agreement in what might be a record-breaking partnership. It's not unusual to see IBM, Samsung, and GloFo pairing up—all three companies are part of the Common Platform Alliance--but the presence of Intel and TSMC is noteworthy. The five companies have committed to a $4.4B investment in New York State that's intended to create 6900 jobs, including 2500 high-tech positions in Albany, East Fishkill, Utica, and Canandaigua (the author's home). As some of you will recall, GlobalFoundries is building its own new Fab 8 in New York State as well. The company began installing equipment... Read more...
GlobalFoundries and Samsung announced today that they intend to synchronize their 28nm high-performance/low-leakage production facilities. This new agreement follows a 2010 collaboration between GloFo, Samsung, IBM, and STMicroelectronics in which all four firms agreed to cooperate in building out their low-power 28nm process nodes. One of the differences between modern foundries and Intel (or, historically, AMD) is that foundries typically offer the same process in a variety of flavors. GlobalFoundries, like TSMC, offers 40nm production in both a generic (G) and a low-power (LP) version, with 40G designed for high-performance parts and low-power silicon meant for devices where minimal power... Read more...
It was only a year ago that Globalfoundries announced plans for a major global capacity expansion. And now? Globalfoundries today said it's ready to start moving 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment into its newly constructed cleanrooms in New York and Dresden. The technical term for this milestone is called "Ready for Equipment," which is just what it sounds like and signifies that these two plants are ready to move from the construction phase to the operations phase. "At Globalfoundries, we continue to invest aggressively in driving sustained growth on advanced technologies," said Globalfoundries CEO Ajit Manocha. "The build-out of our 300mm manufacturing campuses in New York and... Read more...
Earlier this week, we covered AMD's announcement of its upcoming OpenCL programming conference and how it plans to offer information on making the most of its Llano APU and that processor's capabilities. One of the rumors rumbling around since then has been whether AMD and ARM would pursue any sort of cross-licensing agreement. AMD's director of client products, John Taylor, has since shot down the idea that AMD might build an ARM-based processor, noting: "We've made a big bet on APUs, which are x86." AMD may not be planning an ARM core, but the two companies have been making nice for several months. ARM's vice president of media technologies, Jem Davies, is scheduled to keynote the upcoming... Read more...
At yesterday's Common Platform technology day, IBM and the other members of the Common Platform Initiative made a major announcement. While plans to use gate-first technology at the 32nm/28nm node remain unchanged, the coalition will move to gate-last technology when it makes the jump to 20nm production. As semiconductor manufacturing has moved to ever-smaller process nodes, the difficulty of managing each transition has increased markedly. As a result, the major foundries have adopted divers methods of improving product yields and minimizing gate leakage. Examples of these methods include AMD's adoption of immersion lithography at 45nm, Intel's simultaneous decision to use double-patterning... Read more...
Oops. Yesterday we published a story (since taken down) noting that AMD had apparently flip-flopped on its 28nm plans and would use TSMC for 28nm production in the 2012 timeframe rather than going with GlobalFoundries. The original piece we discussed ran Cens.com, which bills itself as "Taiwan's Economic News." We're not going to link it again, but the piece is still live if you care to read it. We heard from both AMD and GlobalFoundries a few hours after we published our original story; both companies categorically deny that there's been a change of plans with regard to AMD's contract with TSMC. Although the original story was presented as fact rather than rumor, we should've realized there... Read more...
Earlier this week, we detailed GlobalFoundries roadmap for the next few years and touched on the company's rapidly growing list of partners. A new announcement from ARM today sheds fresh detail on where the semiconductor industry is headed in the next few years. Say hello to the next-generation ARM core, the ARM Cortex-A15. Unlike the ARM-A5 architecture, whose launch we covered nearly a year ago, ARM-15 is aimed squarely at high-end markets. The degree of overlap suggests that A15 may nudge A8 out of the lineup altogether. The A15 is based on the same ARM v7-A Cortex architecture as the A9, but adds support for LPAE (Long Physical Address Extensions) and is designed to maintain cache coherency... Read more...
We are back again this week with a brand new video podcast to talk about some recent developments in the hardware and technology scenes. Topics in this episode of the HotHardware Video Podcast include the coverage from the Global Technology Conference, Origin’s insane PC / Xbox 360 hybrid, the AMD FirePro 9800 professional workstation graphics card, Zotac’s new Blu-Ray equipped nettop, and we hint at a new Tegra 2 powered tablet and high-end OCZ SSD that we’ll be covering in-depth soon... Show Notes: 0:13 - GlobalFoundries Details Plans For 2011 And Beyond 2:00 - Origin PC Introduces "Big O" Gaming Tower With PC And Xbox 360 5:04 - ATI Introduces Ultra High End FirePro V9800... Read more...
On September 1, GlobalFoundries played host to the first annual Global Technology Conference (GTC for short). While there were a fair number of partner presentations on display, the conference was primarily driven by GlobalFoundries executives and announcements. When we spoke to GlobalFoundries in March we remarked on the company's aggressive roadmap; we were curious to see if the company would still be on track six months later... GlobalFoundries Details Plans For 2011 And Beyond... Read more...
On September 1, GlobalFoundries played host to the first annual Global Technology Conference (GTC for short). While there were a fair number of partner presentations on display, the conference was primarily driven by GlobalFoundries executives and announcements. When we spoke to GlobalFoundries in March we remarked on the company's aggressive roadmap; we were curious to see if the company would still be on track six months later. Based on comments made by company CEO Doug Grose, GlobalFoundries is on track to realize some $4 billion in revenue for the year 2010 and plans to double its size within two years (it's unclear if this refers to revenue, wafer starts, or customer base). The company's... Read more...
Apple's diminutive A4 processor has been the subject of much debate and interest since it debuted earlier this year. Now, multiple analysts and industry pundits are quietly hinting that we might see the chip in servers, set-top boxes, or other content servers. Much of this last is presumably drawn from the CPU's inclusion in the next-generation AppleTV, where a combined A4+PowerVR SGX535 allow for 720p output. In some ways, this is a very timely rumor—when we attended the GlobalFoundries Tech Conference (GTC 2010) last week we talked with ARM reprensentatives about the future performance of ARM-based products and GlobalFoundries decision to use the dual-core Cortex-A9 as a technology qualification... Read more...
TSMC officially began building its next-generation Fab 15 foundry on Friday. The facility, or 'gigafab' in TSMC parlance, will begin coming online in 2012, long-term capacity is said to be upwards of 100,000 wafer starts a month. In contrast, GlobalFoundries New York facility currently under construction is targeting 60,000 wafer starts / month once in full production. According to TSMC, the new fab has a price tag of some $9.4 billion and will come online with both 40nm and 28nm production nodes. We're guessing TSMC's goal here is to further extend its glowing record as a leading edge node provider—after the company's stellar 40nm rollout and ramp, it'll be a challenge to shaft customers... Read more...
At this time last year, everyone in the PC industry was worried sick about where the future was headed. Were the days of yearly PC upgrades over? Should we cut production? Should we transition out of the high-end sector? We're sure major chip makers like Intel were running these thoughts through their heads, and we figure GlobalFoundries was no different. But this year at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, the company is all smiles with plans for major expansion in the months ahead. GlobalFoundries is the manufacturing arm for AMD processors (among other companies), and this week they're announcing plans to "expand its global semiconductor manufacturing operations with a series of new projects... Read more...
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