Developed by Samsung and licensed to GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the 14 nm FinFET process is based on a technology platform that has already gained traction as the choice for high-volume, power-efficient system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The platform taps the benefits of three-dimensional, fully depleted FinFET transistors to overcome the limitations of planar transistor technology, enabling up to 20 percent higher speed, 35 percent less power and 15 percent area scaling over industry 20 nm planar technology.
The platform is the first FinFET technology in the foundry industry to provide true area scaling from 20 nm. The technology features a smaller contacted gate pitch for higher logic packing density and smaller SRAM bitcells to meet the demand for memory content in advanced SoCs. According to Samsung, the technology is also leveraging the interconnect scheme from 20 nm to offer the benefits of FinFET technology with reduced risk and the fastest time-to-market.
Through this multi-year exclusive technology license, process design kits (PDKs) are available now. Mass production for the 14 nm FinFET technology will begin at the end of 2014.
"This unprecedented collaboration will result in a global capacity footprint for 14 nm FinFET technology that provides AMD with enhanced capabilities to bring our innovative IP into silicon on leading-edge technologies," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Global Business Units at AMD. "The work that GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung are doing together will help AMD deliver our next generation of groundbreaking products with new levels of processing and graphics capabilities to devices ranging from low-power mobile devices, to next-generation dense servers to high-performance embedded solutions."
"This strategic collaboration extends the value proposition of a single GDSII multi-sourcing to the FinFET nodes. With this true multi-source platform, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES have made it easy for fabless semiconductor companies to access FinFET technology and increase first-time silicon success," said Dr. Stephen Woo, president of System LSI Business, Device Solutions Division, Samsung Electronics. "Through this collaboration, we are advancing the foundry business and support model to satisfy what customers have been asking for."
"Today's announcement is further proof of the importance of collaboration to enable continued innovation in semiconductor manufacturing," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Sanjay Jha. "With this industry-first alignment of 14 nm FinFET production capabilities, we can offer greater choice and flexibility to the world's leading fabless semiconductor companies, while helping the fabless industry to maintain its leadership in the mobile device market."
Intel, which has some of the most advanced manufacturing plants in the world, is already making 14-nanometer chips. They'll be introduced this year for PCs.
TSMC, which is the world's largest foundry supplier, will start producing 3D transistors this year using a 16-nanometer process.
Intel and TSMC each use different 14-nm and FINFET technologies, so their customers don't have the option to use other companies' fabs.