GloFo speeds up move to 14nm process

GlobalFoundries will be one of the first foundries to offer 14nm processors with customer tape outs in 2013.

GloFo has announced that it will start producing processors using 3D FinFET transistors with its 14nm-XM production, which it claims is optimised for mobile system-on-chip designs, with test production already underway.

Chips produced at this node will offer a 40-60 percent improvement in battery life compared to the two dimensional planar transistor being produced at 20nm by GloFo.  According to a statement, the chips will also incorporate elements of the 20nm LPM process.

GlobalFoundries’ relatively early date for 14nm production is likely to be good news for ARM, with the chip design firm recently signing a multiyear deal for FinFET development.

Dipesh Patel, deputy general manager of the Physical IP Division at ARM, commented that FinFET would be integral to the next generation of mobile devices, while its partnership with GloFo would create a  “platform which is well-suited for SoCs based on the next generation of ARM processors and GPUs for the mobile market”.

Intel is expected to be the first to reach volume production at 14nm. It has been investing in 14 nm fabs at Oregon, Arizona and in Leixlip, Ireland, and is expected to reach volume production early 2014.