Samsung Ramps Up 14nm LPP Production

With their 14nm LPE (Low Power Early) process behind them, Samsung has moved on and started mass production for their new 14nm LPP (Low Power Performance) process. This is very important for the PC market as AMD is slated to use the 14nm LPP process from Samsung/GlobalFoundries for their upcoming Zen CPUs and Polaris GPUs. A ramp up now means that any major issues with 14nm LPP have been fixed and chips can start being produced.

Unlike the earlier LPE process, LPP is meant for higher power parts that clock faster, perfect for use with CPUs and GPUs. While AMD has not confirmed if they will be using Samsung or GlobalFoundries, this time around, the tight partnership between the two fabs means that a successful ramp for one is a success for the other partner. So even if Samsung is focused on producing their own mobile chips, GlobalFoundries is probably ready for Zen and Polaris.

Once Zen and Polaris production starts up, it will take around six to eight months for products to become available to us. This fits right into the timeline for when Zen and Polaris will launch in 2H 2016. Keep in mind that since Polaris will also use TSMC’s 16nm process, Polaris could arrive before Zen. With 14nm LPP on-track and Polaris and Zen taped out, it is only a matter of time before we see AMD launch their new lineup.

AMD Zen to use TSMC 16nm as GF 14nm Falters

TSMC has just scored a major CPU customer as AMD is allegedly moving their Zen CPUs over to the fab. Originally meant for GlobalFoundries 14nm process, delays at the once AMD owned fab have led to a change to use the 16nm process at TSMC, the same one used for AMD and Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs. Zen is AMD’s next CPU architecture, aimed at improving IPC by 40% over current Excavator products.

According to the source, GF has been facing issues with getting their 14nm production ramped up. The fab’s main owner, the government of Abu Dhabi, has  been cutting expenses due to low oil prices. Due to that and difficulties in retooling the 28nm equipment to 14nm, volumes and yields on the new process are below expectations. It was also the delays for the 32nm process at GF that caused Bulldozer to launch later than expected back in 2011.

With both TSMC and GF offering FinFET processes, AMD should see good efficiency gains on top of moving to a new process. While AMD had previously been mum about which FinFET process it would use, most had expected GF to win out due to the long relationship between the two firms. With TSMC now confirmed, the biggest question is whether or not the fab can handle all the CPUs, GPUs and SoCs planned for next year. Hopefully, TSMC 16nmFF+ process will be able to hit the clocks speeds required of desktop CPUs.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information

GlobalFoundries Seals IBM Deal

GlobalFoundries has been given the all-clear to complete its purchase of IBM’s chips division, in a deal worth $1.5 billion. An off-shoot of AMD, GlobalFoundries was founded in 2009 on the back of massive funding from the Advanced Technology Investment Company, the tech investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. IBM has been struggling to prop up its loss-making chips division for some time, and it is them that is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion to take the division off its hands, with the promise of a further $3 billion investment over the next five years.

As part of the deal, GlobalFoundries has gained two new chip-fabs and over 16,000 patents, but holistically it positions the company as a new key player in the chip market. It will now take control of IBM’s manufacturing plants in East Fishkill, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont. As part of the agreement, GlobalFoundries will provide IBM with semiconductors for the next ten years.

Sanjay Jha, Chief Executive Officer of GlobalFoundries, lauded the deal as a huge boost to his company’s research and development, saying, “We have added world-class technologists and differentiated technologies, such as RF [radio frequency] and ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit], to meet our customers’ needs and accelerate our progress toward becoming a foundry powerhouse.”

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information.

Samsung Rumoured to Start Making Chips for Nvidia

A week ago, Samsung reportedly won a contract to make chips for Apple’s upcoming iPhones using their latest 14nm FinFET technology. However, it seems that the South Korean manufacturer has been busy scooping up more contracts in the meantime.

The latest points to a “few million dollars” contract between Samsung and Nvidia, allowing both Samsung and GlobalFoundries to make 14nm chips in Korea as well as the US for Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as per the new contract. As previously reported, GlobalFoundries struck a deal with Samsung to replicate its 14nm FinFET technology.

“The latest agreement between Samsung and Nvidia is another positive factor lifting Samsung’s logic chip business unit. The timing looks good as increased foundry customers justify the Korean chip giant’s moves to find new revenue sources,” a source told Korean Times.

So why the rush to roll out small factor GPU chips? Easy. A GPU takes a lot of workload off the CPU and as we all know, smartphones are requiring new tech to handle better graphics while cutting down on power consumption. However, in order to achieve the perfect balance, a smaller form factor SoC is needed.

Looking at the partnership from another perspective reveals that Samsung and Nvidia are still not on the best of terms. Both companies are reportedly engaged in legal actions, but another source stated that the companies are more focused on business rather than their little disagreements.

“The Samsung-Nvidia deal means that there is no enemy and friend in businesses,”

Neither Samsung nor South Korean-based representatives for Nvidia wanted to shed more light on the new partnership, but stay tuned as we will keep you updated with more information as it unravels.

Thank you Korea Times for providing us with this information

Globalfoundries And Infineon Made A Deal For 40nm Embedded Flash Technology

Globalfoundries, Inc. and Infineon Technologies have recently announced that they’re having a joint collaboration for developing and production agreement for 40 nm embedded flash or eFlash process technology.

This partnership to help develop and manufacture Infineon’s eFlash cell design which will be used for manufacturing of automotive and security microcontrollers. The 40nm eFlash MCU will be made by Globalfoundries fab plants, initially in Singapore and subsequently in Dresden, Germany.

Both the company have a very old relationship where they’ve jointly collaborated in development and manufacturing, including the development and manufacturing of CMOS-based low power mobile phone chips.

Arunjai Mittal, one of the members of management board of Infeneon Technologies said,”Next generation embedded Flash microcontrollers with 40nm process structures will further enhance our competitive strength in the automotive, industrial as well as chip card and security markets.”

The agreement which involves Globalfoundries is consistent with Infineon’s plans to be involved in CMOS-Based 65nm technology, whose security microcontroller’s process and product qualification is planned for the second half of 2015, whereas the production of automotive microcontroller is set to start in first half of 2017.

Source :NASDAQ