GloFo claims technology edge over Intel

With 77 percent of patents on future FinFET technology, GlobalFoundries claimed that it and its partners have the lead in the market place, with Intel having to catch up and the other foundries floundering.

Those patents are held by GloFo, IBM and Samsung – members of the broad based alliance, said Subramani Kengeri, head of the company’s Advanced Architecture Office.

He said that while Intel no doubt will implement FinFET, the pathway for other players will be very difficult. “At the 14 nanometre level, planar is dead,” said Kengeri. Players in the IBM alliance have been working on FinFET technology have been working on its challenges for the last 10 years.

GloFo, said Kengeri, has repositioned itself away from old models. The key new messages for the future are low power, low cost and performance, he said. His company is collaborating with its partners and will share roadmaps up to five years in the future.

Challenges at the 20 nanometre level include implementing EUV (extreme ultra violet) but Kengeri is confident his company can meet those challenges. To produce 450 millimetre wafers the industry needs to agree on the standards but all the key players are cooperating to define these.

GloFo has shipped over 250,000 HKMG wafers so far, and has met all its 32 nanometre commitments. It is isn’t geographically challenged because its output includes 80,000 wafers a month in Dresden, 60,000 at the former Chartered fab in Singapore, and its US plant at Fishkill in New York State will produce 60,000 a month soon.

Kengeri agreed that as the decade proceeds, costs of new fabrication plants will soar, while its customers and consumers will continue to expect more features for less money. But, he said, the economies of scale will still work, as new applications continue to develop for the advanced semiconductors of the future. In the future, we’ll see larger dies but they will integrate as much as 215MB of memory, and use 3D and other techniques to make for compelling technology.

ATIC, the financiers of GlobalFoundries, has a 20-25 year plan for the company, Kengeri said.