Samsung, GlobalFoundries ink exclusive, multi-year 14nm FinFET deal

Customers can 'save literally hundreds of millions of dollars in design costs,' they claim


Samsung and GlobalFoundries have announced a collaborative agreement that will enable 14-nanometer FinFET chippery to be manufactured at Samsung's fabs in Hwaseong, South Korea and Austin, Texas, as well as at GlobalFoundries' fab in Saratoga, New York.

"This is a paradigm change to the foundry landscape," GlobalFoundries VP of product management Ana Hunter said in an announcement video.

Samsung VP of foundry marketing Shawn Han was equally effusive. "This is a game-changer," he said. "Samsung and GlobalFoundries are fundamentally changing the supply-chain model for foundry services."

The 14nm FinFET process to be shared was developed by Samsung and licensed to GlobalFoundries in a multi-year, exclusive deal. According to the joint announcement, the process provides improvements over current 20nm planar tech that result in up to 20 per cent higher speeds, 35 per cent less power consumption, and 15 per cent area-scaling savings.

"The technology features a smaller contacted gate pitch for higher logic packing density and smaller SRAM bitcells to meet the increasing demand for memory content in advanced SoCs," the companies claim.

AMD's SVP and GM of global business units Lisa Su also waxed enthusiastically about the partnership. "This unprecedented collaboration will result in a global capacity footprint for 14nm FinFET technology that provides AMD with enhanced capabilities to bring our innovative IP into silicon on leading-edge technologies," she said.

Fabless SoC designers can begin to take advantage of the agreement immediately, with PDKs – process design kits – available today, and mass production scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

The benefit to those customers, the two companies assert, will be that they'll have access to the same process and the same design tools to make use of it in multiple locations around the globe. Those customers can "save literally hundreds of millions of dollars in design costs," says Hunter.

With Intel also getting into the business of manufacturing chips for fabless IP designers – including ARM-based chips – and with TSMC forecasting double-digit growth in both revenue and profit this year, the wafer-baking world is beginning to get a lot more interesting. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022