GlobalFoundries unveils 7nm roadmap
September 16, 2016 // 10:01 a.m.
AMD spin-off semiconductor fab specialist GlobalFoundries has announced that it is to skip the 10nm process node and head straight to 7nm.
GlobalFoundries chief executive Sanjay Jha unveiled the company's new roadmap at a press event this week in which he stated that 'it’s our view that 10nm will be a short node,' and one which GlobalFoundries will skip in favour of going straight to 7nm in an attempt to get the drop on its rivals. The company's aggressive roadmap sees the first 7nm FinFET-based parts dropping off production lines in the company's Fab 8 facility in New York by 2018, with product design starting as early as the second half of 2017. Doing so, the company has claimed, will offer customers around a 30 percent performance boost over the same designs implemented at the existing 14nm process node.
'The industry is converging on 7nm FinFET as the next long-lived node, which represents a unique opportunity for GlobalFoundries to compete at the leading edge,' claimed Jha. 'We are well positioned to deliver a differentiated 7nm FinFET technology by tapping our years of experience manufacturing high-performance chips, the talent and know-how of our former IBM Microelectronics colleagues and the world-class R&D pipeline from our research alliance. No other foundry can match this legacy of manufacturing high-performance chips.'
While GlobalFoundries' new roadmap may seem far-fetched, given that Intel is still struggling to shift itself from the 14nm node at volume, the company claims to already be producing small-volume test batches using designs from unnamed 'lead customers,' and has thus far found nothing to indicate it won't be able to begin what it calls 'ramp to risk production' in early 2018.