GlobalFoundries Press Release

GlobalFoundries Reshapes Technology Portfolio to Intensify Focus on Growing Demand for Differentiated Offerings

Semiconductor manufacturer realigns leading-edge roadmap to meet client need and establishes wholly-owned subsidiary to design custom ASICs.

Santa Clara, Calif., August 27, 2018 – GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced an important step in its transformation, continuing the trajectory launched with the appointment of Tom Caulfield as CEO earlier this year. In line with the strategic direction Caulfield has articulated, GF is reshaping its technology portfolio to intensify its focus on delivering truly differentiated offerings for clients in high-growth markets.

GF is realigning its leading-edge FinFET roadmap to serve the next wave of clients that will adopt the technology in the coming years. The company will shift development resources to make its 14/12nm FinFET platform more relevant to these clients, delivering a range of innovative IP and features including RF, embedded memory, low power and more. To support this transition, GF is putting its 7nm FinFET program on hold indefinitely and restructuring its research and development teams to support its enhanced portfolio initiatives. This will require a workforce reduction, however a significant number of top technologists will be redeployed on 14/12nm FinFET derivatives and other differentiated offerings.

“Demand for semiconductors has never been higher, and clients are asking us to play an ever-increasing role in enabling tomorrow’s technology innovations,” Caulfield said. “The vast majority of today’s fabless customers are looking to get more value out of each technology generation to leverage the substantial investments required to design into each technology node. Essentially, these nodes are transitioning to design platforms serving multiple waves of applications, giving each node greater longevity. This industry dynamic has resulted in fewer fabless clients designing into the outer limits of Moore’s Law. We are shifting our resources and focus by doubling down on our investments in differentiated technologies across our entire portfolio that are most relevant to our clients in growing market segments.”

In addition, to better leverage GF’s strong heritage and significant investments in ASIC design and IP, the company is establishing its ASIC business as a wholly-owned subsidiary, independent from the foundry business. A relevant ASIC business requires continued access to leading-edge technology. This independent ASIC entity will provide clients with access to alternative foundry options at 7nm and beyond, while allowing the ASIC business to engage with a broader set of clients, especially the growing number of systems companies that need ASIC capabilities and more manufacturing scale than GF can provide alone.

GF is intensifying investment in areas where it has clear differentiation and adds true value for clients, with an emphasis on delivering feature-rich offerings across its portfolio. This includes continued focus on its FDXTM platform, leading RF offerings (including RF SOI and high-performance SiGe), analog/mixed signal, and other technologies designed for a growing number of applications that require low power, real-time connectivity, and on-board intelligence. GF is uniquely positioned to serve this burgeoning market for “connected intelligence,” with strong demand in new areas such as autonomous driving, IoT and the global transition to 5G.

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  • NuclearArmament - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    This is stupid, stop trying to milk silicon beyond 11 nm and start using gallium arsenide or indium gallium arsenide. The Fujitsu AP2000 used BiCMOS and GaAs fabrication back in the early 1990s, for crying out loud. Get rid of silicon, it's outdated and needs to be replaced! You have BILLIONS of dollars and get government subsidies, why not take a risk?! Reply
  • rahvin - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    The only problem of course is that Gallium based Semi's are about 100X to the cost which is why no one uses them for anything outside certain categories where the cost is justifiable. Reply
  • Khenglish - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    iii-v materials can also only result in n-channel HFETs or NPN BJTs. You can't make an active pull-up device, which is required for any VLSI use. Only very high power resistive pull-up or current steering logic is possible. Reply
  • evanh - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    Price by itself doesn't explain the why. Price is only an outcome due to lack of volume production. This is true for any mass produced product.

    Khenglish gives a real reason.
    Reply
  • rahvin - Monday, August 27, 2018 - link

    Price is more than volume production, the materials are far more difficult to obtain, purify combine and handle than silicon and frequently involve highly toxic chemicals. Silicon on the other hand requires an enormous amount of energy but doesn't involve toxic chemical processing. Take a look at the wiki article and the processes to produce GaAs cyrstals, it's not simple. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium_arsenide Reply
  • evanh - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    None of which makes it expensive. Reply
  • SirPerro - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    Let me resume Silicon properties from wikipedia...

    - Abundant and cheap

    - Has economies of scales on its side

    - Very stable and can grow to high diameters with good yields

    - Very good thermal conductor for densely packed transistors

    - Its native oxide works very well as insulator with excellent electrical properties

    - Has much higher hole mobility which enables CMOS transistors with much lower power consumption

    - Is a pure element, avoiding the problems of stoichiometric imbalance and thermal unmixing of GaAs

    - It has a nearly perfect lattice, impurity density is very low and allows very small structures to be built

    And Gallium Arsenide drawbacks include...

    - Naturally, GaAs surface cannot withstand the high temperature needed for diffusion

    - GaAs does not have a native oxide, does not easily support a stable adherent insulating layer, and does not possess the dielectric strength or surface passivating qualities of the Si-SiO2

    -Because they lack a fast CMOS structure, GaAs circuits must use logic styles which have much higher power consumption; this has made GaAs logic circuits unable to compete with silicon logic circuits

    - Problems of stoichiometric imbalance and thermal unmixing

    - GaAs has a very high impurity density which makes it difficult to build integrated circuits with small structures, so the 500 nm process is a common process for GaAs

    So you know, usually statements like "This multitrillion dollar industry is wrong, what they do is stupid, they should do X" coming from random dudes on the internet are bullshit.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    "So you know, usually statements like "This multitrillion dollar industry is wrong, what they do is stupid, they should do X" coming from random dudes on the internet are bullshit. "

    yeah but Dear Leader has done that for a lifetime, and look where it got him. :)
    Reply
  • evanh - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    My sole argument is economies of scale is what defines the cost. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - link

    " Price is only an outcome due to lack of volume production"

    absolutely not, in this case. the cost is in quantities of raw materials. silicon is plentiful and cheap. the rest are far from it. and, as other comments have described, not technically superior.
    Reply

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