IBM, Samsung Electronics, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and STMicroelectronics said today that the four companies are
collaborating to synchronize semiconductor manufacturing facilities for the production of advanced chips based on 28nm process jointly developed by IBM Technology Alliance.
The synchronization process helps ensure that chip designs
can be produced at multiple sources in three different
continents with no redesign required. The technology
alliance, based at IBM's facility in East Fishkill, New
York, includes GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Infineon Technologies,
Renesas Electronics, Samsung Electronics,
STMicroelectronics and Toshiba.
IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES - members of the Common
Platform alliance - are working with STMicroelectronics to
develop and standardize 28nm process technology to ensure
consistent production worldwide for electronics and device
The low-power, 28nm process technology is designed for the
next generation of smart mobile devices, enabling designs
with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, low
standby power and longer battery life. The 28nm process
technology is slated to become the foundation for a new
generation of portable electronics that are capable of
handling streaming video, data, voice, social networking
and mobile commerce applications.
The 28-nanometer chips will use bulk complementary metal
oxide semiconductor (CMOS), and high-k metal gate (HKMG)
processes. Members of the alliance are driving the global
standard for HKMG with their "Gate First" technology. The
companies claim that the specific approach is superior to
other HKMG solutions in both scalability and
manufacturability, offering a smaller die size and
compatibility with design elements and process flows from
previous technology nodes.
"IBM has extensive experience synchronizing multiple fabs,
where we match rigorous manufacturing specifications to
critical design parameters," said Gary Patton, Vice
President for IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development
Center. "The result is that our advanced technology can be
implemented in many fabs around the world and produce the
same results, providing clients with multiple suppliers for
their product designs."
The members of the Common Platform alliance and
STMicroelectronics will optimize the processes and tooling
at all the respective manufacturing lines, or fabs, to
ensure the chip designs can be produced with the same
functional and electrical results at each of the companies.
The companies have released common 28nm circuits in their
respective facilities to enable the synchronization.
Details such as transistor performance are being measured,
benchmarked and optimized across the fabs. The first fab to
complete synchronization of the 28nm low-power technology
process is targeted for late 2010, with product
introduction to follow soon after.
The Common Platform alliance has been collaborating with
ARM and Synopsys on the development of a comprehensive
32/28nm Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) design platform based on
HKMG technology. ARM has developed an intellectual property
(IP) portfolio integrating leading edge HKMG process
technology with ARM advanced microprocessor cores and
physical IP including logic, memory and interface products
for distribution to their customers. Synopsys has developed
a 32/28nm optimized design enablement solution, IP, design
tools and methodology optimized for the alliance's HKMG