Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMD) former chip manufacturing arm, Global Foundries, has made progress in its bid to successfully sample a 14nm chipset. According to AnandTech, the company’s decision to license Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process has culminated in a functional sample, based on the refined fabrication process.
In the past, Global Foundries encountered repeated issues with new manufacturing nodes development, which resulted in it being spun-off from AMD in 2009. The latest news arrives after the company cancelled its in-house 14XM FinFET process.
The AMD announcement outlines that the company’s fabrication plant has developed its first 14nm FinFET Low Power Plus (LPP) sample. However, the news did carry some caveats, such as defining what successful meant. That said, a solid assumption would be that AMD has received working samples from Global Foundries’ manufacturing plants.
Both companies suggest that they are making waves in commercializing the 14nm process at Global Foundries, and are on schedule to mass produce a related chipset by 2016. The node being implemented to produce sample chips were fabbed on 14nm LPP technology, which is Samsung’s second generation 14nm FinFET design.
The latest technology stems from the current generation, 14nm Low Power Early (LPE) design. The new LPP is a more refined process that delivers 10% improved performance, and is expected to become an industry-wide standard for the upcoming semiconductors generation. This means the process will be prepped for volume production by Global Foundries and its competitors for the long haul.
AMD has been pushing the refined standard for some time, while revealing numerous 14 LPP designs for Global Foundries. This measure of inter-dependence means that AMD will bet on its former subsidiary to bring the standard to the market in a timely manner.
The semiconductor giant did not disclose what chip had been “successfully” fabricated, although considering Global Foundries specialization, an APU or GPU is most likely. The latest news will likely be welcomed by AMD, as it makes ground on Nvidia with its Radeon Fury X.
The 14nm process can greatly reduce leakages and boost both power and performance, which can be realized with chips from the likes of Samsung, Apple and Intel. The adoption of the fab process will therefore finally make AMD more competitive against its FinFET-enabled competition. AMD skipped the 20nm process that was due last year, which led to delays in the Zen-based CPUs production in a move that was aimed at redirecting efforts towards the new 14nm FinFET LPP process.
Global Foundries expects production for its process to enter the early ramp-up phase this quarter, while AMD has announced it will release products based on the fab sometime next year. The system is being pushed for mobile and high-performance core products.