GLOBALFOUNDRIES and the Chengdu municipality today announced an investment to spur innovation in China's semiconductor industry.
The partners plan to build a world-class FD-SOI ecosystem including multiple design centers in Chengdu and university programs across China.
The investment of more than $100 million is expected to attract semiconductor companies to Chengdu.
GF and Chengdu recently launched a joint venture to build a 300mm fab to meet global demand for GF's 22FDX FD-SOI technology. Connected to this manufacturing partnership, Chengdu is now focusing on developing the city as a center of excellence for 22FDX design. The partners plan to establish multiple centers focused on IP development, IC design and incubating fabless companies in Chengdu, with the expectation of hiring more than 500 engineers to support semiconductor and systems companies in developing products using 22FDX for mobile, connectivity, 5G, IoT, and automotive. There will also be a focus on creating partnerships with universities across China to develop relevant FD-SOI coursework, research programs and design contests.
"China is the largest semiconductor market and is leading the way with a nationwide commitment to smart cities, IoT, smart vision and other advanced, mobile or battery-powered connected systems" said Alain Mutricy, senior vice president of product management at GF. "FDX is especially well suited for Chinese customers, and the FD-SOI ecosystem in Chengdu will provide the support system necessary to help chip designers take full advantage of the technology's capabilities. We are committed to extend our partnership with Chengdu to accelerate adoption of FDX in China."
GF's 22FDX technology employs a 22nm Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator (FD-SOI) transistor architecture to deliver a combination of performance, power and area for wireless, battery-powered intelligent systems. Construction of the new Chengdu fab has commenced and is on schedule with an expected completion date in early 2018. The fab will begin production of mainstream process technologies in 2018 and then focus on manufacturing 22FDX, with volume production expected to start in 2019.