GlobalFoundries fabbed AMD’s first 14nm sample – probably Zen

Zen-DogGlobalFoundries has announced that it has successfully fabbed AMD’s first 14nm sample and we think it is a Zen chip.

The fab has produced its first 14nm FinFET LPP sample for AMD. The announcement is somewhat vague as GloFlo has not really explained what it means by successful.

It could mean that AMD has received working samples back from the fab which do not catch fire and work. This does not mean that they have got yields up to economic viability yet. However the message appears to be that the pair are making progress on bringing up 14nm manufacturing at GlobalFoundries ahead of mass production in 2016.

The sample chips were fabbed on 14nm Low Power Plus (LPP), which is Samsung’s and GlobalFoundries’ second-generation 14nm FinFET design. It is a refined process designed to offer roughly 10 percent  better performance than earlier designs.

AMD has taped out several 14LPP designs for GlobalFondries and its future largely depends on Zen.  To be fair AMD is refusing to say what chip was successfully fabbed but given that it is GloFlo it is likely to be a CPU/APU and the time line suggests it is an early Zen chip.

GlobalFoundries’ production plans call for their 14LPP process to enter the early ramp-up phase this quarter, with full-scale production starting in 2016. Similarly, in today’s announcement AMD reiterated that they will be releasing products in 2016 based on GlobalFoundries’ 14LPP process.