Globalfoundries, which builds chips designed by other companies, was formed from former operations of Advanced Micro Devices AMD and Chartered Semiconductor and is bankrolled by investors in Abu Dhabi. It recently completed construction of a large factory near Albany, N.Y.
Intel plans to introduce sample chips with its next production process–also based on FinFETs and rated at 14 nanometers–in late 2013 and have volume production the next year. Globalfoundries says it expects to have its first FinFET-based process the same year.
But there’s a noticeable difference. Globalfoundries plans to introduce a hybrid process that combines FinFET transistors rated at 14 nanometers with a layer of interconnection circuitry based on its forthcoming 20-nanometer process.
EETimes – Globalfoundries Inc. said Thursday (Sept. 20) it plans to offer 14-nanometer process technology featuring FinFET three-dimensional transistors in 2014, just one year after the foundry’s 20-nm process is scheduled to enter production.
The acceleration of its process technology development roadmap will likely give Globalfoundries a clear technology lead over other dedicated foundry suppliers. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) have indicated that they plan to integrate FinFETs in their 20-nm processes, which UMC is set to put in production in the second half of 2014 and TSMC likely some time after.
Globalfoundries maintains that its 14-nm XM technology is expected to deliver a 40 to 60 percent improvement in battery life compared with today’s two-dimensional transistors.