GlobalFoundries Confirms 14nm to 7nm Transition
Samuel Wan / 4 years ago
Earlier in the month, a surprising rumour came out from GlobalFoundries future plans. According to the report, the semiconductor foundry was planning to jump straight from the current 14nm process right to 7nm. This would entail skipping out on 10nm, the next node in line after 14nm. These rumours have now been confirmed to be real as GlobalFoudnries has released their new strategic plans going forward.
Compared to 14nm, 7nm offers over twice the density is planned to increase performance by over 30% as well. It will also continue being a FinFET process as well. The goal is to finally get EUV to work with standard optical lithography, something which will make sub 10nm affordable and easier to produce. Of course, such a big jump will require massive investment and a lot of R&D, something they’re getting a lot of from the purchase of IBM’s semiconductor business.
By skipping 10nm, the hope is that they can get to 7nm faster and reach volume earlier. This will allow them to compete better on pricing as well as supplying the necessary mass production earlier. Test chips are already int he works with customer design integration starting in 2H 2017. With risk production in 2018, this means we could see mass production as early as 2019 if everything goes well. It will be interesting to see if GlobalFoundries will meet their targets and perhaps even beat Intel to 7nm.