It's no secret that GlobalFoundries' 32-nm yields didn't start out so great. AMD went on record blaming the company for poor A-series APU supply and the resultingly lackluster financial results last September. A couple of months later, the rumor mill even suggested that AMD might ditch GlobalFoundries at 28 nm.
According to the latest announcement from the foundry firm, though, things aren't quite so bleak. GlobalFoundries claims its 32-nm high-k metal gate process actually ended up ramping quicker than its 45-nm process, with more than twice as many wafers churned out during the first five months of production. GlobalFoundries CEO Ajit Manocha doesn't deny the poor initial yields, but he says the firm "made several organizational and operational changes in the second half of the year that led to a dramatic increase in production velocity and major breakthroughs in yield learning."
Manocha also hints that GlobalFoundries' 32 nm yield optimizations will help at the 28-nm half-node, since the two processes use the same high-k metal gate technology.
What does AMD CEO Rory Read think about all this? GlobalFoundries got him to chime in, and he sounds quite pleased. "In just one quarter, we were able to see more than a doubling of yields on 32nm, allowing us to exit 2011 having exceeded our 32nm product shipment requirement," he says. And then the money shot: "We are committed to moving ahead on 28nm with GLOBALFOUNDRIES."