What is the 14nm-XM technology?
The 14nm-XM offering is based on a modular technology architecture that uses a 14nm FinFET device combined with elements of our 20nm-LPM process, which is well on its way to production. Leveraging the maturity of the 20nm-LPM technology will enable a smooth transition for customers looking to reach production with the benefits of FinFET SoCs as soon as possible. The 14nm-XM technology leverages the proven Middle of Line (MOL) from 20nm-LPM with the tightest design rules to enable 8T standard cells, along with the cost and density advantages of the 20nm-LPM Back End of Line (BEOL). Combine this with our unique “fin-friendly” layout rules for faster porting of existing design IP, and 14nm-XM is able to leverage the maturity of the 20nm-LPM technology to give designers a smooth transition to FinFETs on an accelerated schedule.
Why are you introducing this technology now?
With our new 14nm-XM offering, we have accelerated our leading-edge roadmap to deliver a technology optimized for the expanding mobile market. 14nm-XM will give customers the performance and power benefits of three-dimensional “FinFET” transistors with less risk and a faster time-to-market, helping the fabless ecosystem maintain its leadership in mobility while enabling a new generation of smart mobile devices.
What does the XM stand for?
The XM stands for “eXtreme Mobility,” and it is the industry’s leading non-planar architecture that is truly optimized for mobile system-on-chip (SoC) designs, providing a whole product solution from the transistor all the way up to the system level.
What type of performance and power metrics does 14nm-XM deliver compared to other technologies?
When compared to today’s 20nm planar technology, 14nm-XM is expected to deliver a 40-60% improvement in battery life and between 20-55% higher performance depending on operating voltage. More details will be available in the coming months as we work with partners and customers to silicon-validate the technology.
What is the status of the technology and when will it enter production?
Technology development is already underway, with test silicon running through our Fab 8 in Saratoga County, NY. Early PDKs are available now, with customer tape-outs expected in 2013.
How does this compare to 3D transistor offerings from other semiconductor manufacturers?
While GLOBALFOUNDRIES may not be the first semiconductor manufacturer to offer a non-planar transistor, we believe our technology provides the most holistic approach to delivering an entire product solution optimized for the mobile market. By leveraging the maturity of our 20nm-LPM process, we will be able to offer this technology to customers on a schedule that is competitive with all other manufacturers. Additionally, our strong leadership in HKMG volume production will position us well to lead the foundry ramp of FinFETs as we did with HKMG.
What are the details and status of your 20nm technology?
We have a very competitive 20nm offering following right on the heels of 32/28nm. It has been well endorsed by the marketplace because it is the most comprehensive, cost-effective platform in the industry, delivering up to 40% performance improvement and twice the gate density of 28nm. Technology development is well underway and our Fab 8 in New York began running full-loop 20nm silicon in January. We have multiple active customer design activities with silicon delivery expected by 2H 2012.
What are the advantages of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ FinFET technology compared to other foundries?
What does it really mean when you say the technology is “mobility optimized”?
The 14nm-XM architecture strikes the ideal balance between performance and power consumption, while minimizing both die size and cost. At the same time, the technology has been architected for optimum manufacturability and ease of design, with a view to allowing designers to re-use much of their IP from previous generations. Additionally, consideration is given to SoC-level concerns beyond the transistor architecture, such as support for applications and overall system-level performance.
How is this related to your recent announcement with ARM?
We recently announced a new multi-year agreement with ARM to jointly deliver optimized SoC solutions for ARM processor designs on FinFET process technologies. We have been collaborating for several years to jointly optimize ARM Cortex™-A series processors, and this agreement extends the prior efforts by driving production IP platforms that will promote rapid migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology. A critical aspect of delivering a fully SoC-optimized solution is the ability to leverage the entire ecosystem of industry expertise, from EDA and design solutions partners to providers of IP. FinFET technology comes with new considerations, especially for the design community. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ process R&D and technology architecture teams have been working closely with both internal design team as well as design ecosystem partners to co-optimize the technology and design environments.