GlobalFoundries preps 22-, 20-nm processes for 2013

Backed by a steady stream of cash from Abu Dhabi, GlobalFoundries is quickly establishing itself as a leader in the independent foundry business. Yesterday, the company revealed its roadmap for 22- and 20-nm fabrication processes, and it also announced plans for a "High Performance Plus" version of its 28-nm process.

GlobalFoundries says it intends to run "test chip shuttles" at 22 and 20 nm in the second half of next year, with "risk production" to follow in the second half of 2012. Actual product production is expected to begin some time in 2013. The 20-nm process will be available in high-performance and super-low-power variants; GlobalFoundries also intends to offer a 22-nm super-high-performance process for "devices requiring the utmost in performance." (Sadly, the announcement doesn't get into more detail.) All three processes will be based on next-gen high-k metal gate technology.

Speaking of super-high performance, this announcement also foretells the arrival of a 28-nm "High Performance Plus" technology, which will purportedly enable up to 10% greater performance than the regular 28-nm high-performance process. GlobalFoundries will begin risk production for the 28-nm HPP tech in the fourth quarter of 2011. This time, the firm does name concrete applications: "smart mobile devices and high-performance processors requiring more than 2GHz of processing power."

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