GlobalFoundries, T-RAM promise denser caches

Future AMD processors may end up with denser caches than expected—as could other chips manufactured by AMD's former foundry arm. Indeed, GlobalFoundries has announced a joint development agreement with T-RAM, as part of which the two firms will bring T-RAM's Thyristor-RAM embedded memory technology to "advanced technology nodes."

Thyristor-RAM will find its way into GlobalFoundries' 32nm and 22nm processes in both bulk-silicon and silicon-on-insulator flavors. If what AMD told us last November is still accurate, GlobalFoundries will start ramping its 32nm bulk process in the fourth quarter of this year, with the 32nm SOI variant to follow in the first quarter of 2010.

T-RAM's denser embedded memory tech "has the potential to enable much larger on-chip cache memories," GlobalFoundries tells us. Also, Thyristor RAM "shows promise for other applications, such as system-on-chip designs for netbooks, smartphones, and other mobile devices."

AMD is planning a slew of processors based on GlobalFoundries' 32nm tech, including Interlagos and Valencia for servers, Orochi for high-end desktops, Llano for mainstream desktops and notebooks, and Ontario for ultraportables. Neither company has said whether these CPUs will use T-RAM technology, though.

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