GlobalFoundries Bypasses 10nm for 7nm
Samuel Wan / 4 years ago
Currently, all the major silicon foundries are utilizing a 1x nm process. TSMC has their 16nm while Intel, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries have their 14nm process. The next process in line for development is 10nm, something Intel is pushing hard to reach. However, in a surprise move, GlobalFoundries is reportedly planning to skip the 10nm node altogether and move straight t0 7nm right away.
Righ now, GlobalFoundries is sharing their 14nm process with partner Samsung. The company recently faced problems in developing new nodes which made the partnership necessary. This all changed when the company obtained all of IBM’s semiconductor manufacturing assets when the blue giant closed up shop. IBM has been the first to reach the 7nm node in research so with that experience, GlobalFoundries is planning to skip 10nm altogether and go straight to 7nm.
The key will be how long it will take to get 7nm up and running. If the company is still stuck on 14nm while everyone else moves onto 10nm next year, they would be behind until they release 7nm. By that point, their competitors may also be close to 7nm as well. Of course, if GlobalFoundries, does get to 7nm a year or even two ahead, that would be a major win for them and their customers. Samsung might also get in on the action due to their partnership, meaning 7nm ARM SoCs as well.
The biggest benefactor would be AMD. AMD has used the company for their CPUs ever since they spun them off a decade ago. If GlobalFoundries is able to provide 7nm, AMD will not only have a decent architecture with Zen CPUs, but also a process advantage over their rival Intel, something they’ve never really had. The GPU side would also benefit as Polaris could do with a process advantage over Nvidia.