Globalfoundries unveils plan for 7nm FinFET manufacturing
Press release; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Monday 19 September 2016]

Globalfoundries has announced plans to deliver a new leading-edge 7nm FinFET semiconductor technology, which provides more processing power for data centers, networking, premium mobile processors, and deep learning applications.

Globalfoundries' new 7nm FinFET technology is expected to deliver more than twice the logic density and a 30% performance boost compared to today's 16/14nm foundry FinFET offerings, the company claimed. The platform is based on an industry-standard FinFET transistor architecture and optical lithography, with EUV compatibility at key levels. This approach will accelerate the production ramp through significant re-use of tools and processes from the company's 14nm FinFET technology, which is currently in volume production at its Fab 8 campus in Saratoga County, N.Y.

Globalfoundries' 7nm FinFET technology is positioned to enable next-generation computing applications that demand ultra-high performance, from high-end mobile SoCs to processors for cloud servers and networking infrastructure. The company's high-performance offerings are complemented by its 22FDX and 12FDX technologies, which have been developed to meet the ultra-low-power requirements of the next generation of intelligent connected devices, from mobile computing and 5G connectivity to artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

Globalfoundries also disclosed plans to make an additional mutli-billion dollar investment in Fab 8 to enable development and production for 7nm FinFET.

"The industry is converging on 7nm FinFET as the next long-lived node," said company CEO Sanjay Jha in a statement. "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."

"Globalfoundries made a bold decision to jump directly from 14nm to 7nm," said TIRIAS Research founder and principal analyst Jim McGregor in the same statement. "Much like the 28nm and 16/14nm process nodes, 7nm appears to be the next major process node that will be widely leveraged by the entire semiconductor industry for at least the next decade."

To enable customers to accelerate adoption of 7nm FinFET technology, Globalfoundries has expanded its strategic partnership with Invecas beyond 14LPP and FDX processes to now include foundry IP development for 7nm process technologies, the foundry indicated.

Globalfoundries' 7nm FinFET technology will be supported by a full platform of foundation and complex intellectual property (IP), including an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) offering. Test chips with IP from lead customers have already started running in Fab 8. The technology is expected to be ready for customer product design starts in the second half of 2017, with ramp to risk production in early 2018.