Globalfoundries Details Technology Aimed at 22nm and Beyond

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
In the fall of 2007, Intel helped kick off the 45nm life-cycle with the help of their Core 2 Extreme QX9650, and since then, 45nm has become pretty much the standard (with AMD releasing their first 45nm processors late last year). The next step is 32nm, and it looks as though Intel's own Westmere will be the first to deliver a product on that process (hopefully in just a few months), with AMD planning to launch product sometime in 2010, or at the latest, early 2011.

Beyond that, we have 22nm processes to look forward to, and though it may come off as a little surprising, it looks like AMD's brand-new spin-off foundry, Globalfoundries, is going to be the first out the door with such a chip, thanks in part to the fruits of the relationship with IBM and other alliance partners. At the VLSI 2009 conference, taking place in Kyoto, Japan, Globalfoundries had a live demonstration of silicon built with on a 22nm node, although it doesn't say what it was.

Their goal was to prove that it could be done, although we're still a long way from seeing usable chips built on the process. Not surprisingly, the press release doesn't state what it took to produce a reliable piece of silicon, but it does state that the High-K Metal Gate is essential in the process, and that their technology allows an EOT (equivalent oxide thickness) to scale well beyond the required levels for 22nm, which means this same technique could be useful for processes even smaller. Things should get exciting...


GLOBALFOUNDRIES and IBM have developed a new technique that overcomes this barrier, demonstrating for the first time that EOT scaling to well beyond the 22nm node can be achieved while maintaining the necessary combination of leakage, threshold voltages, and carrier mobility. The results were successfully demonstrated through fabrication of an n-MOSFET device with EOT of 0.55nm and a p-MOSFET with EOT of 0.7nm.

Source: Globalfoundries Press Release