Globalfoundries extends 22nm FDSOI, holds 12nm

Globalfoundries extends 22nm FDSOI, holds 12nm

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Back in 2016 Globalfoundries was planning for customer tape-outs on it 12nm 12FDX in the first half of 2019.

Meanwhile the 22FDX platform at 22nm has been in production since 2017/2018 with the inclusion of MRAM as an embedded non-volatile memory option. More than 350 million chips have been shipped and generated more than $4.5 billion in revenue.

FDSOI, or fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator, is alternative manufacturing option to the FinFET beyond bulk CMOS at 28nm, that brings a number of advantages. The buried oxide layer reduces parasitic capacitance, which improves power consumption and allows for back-biasing to actively trade off power consumption and performance. It can also reduce temperature dependency due to less doping and allows high density circuitry and better wafer utilization. This can bring a number of advantages in mixed-signal and RF circuits, an area where Globalfoundries has been concentrating.

Instead, the company has announced an enhanced version of the 22nm process called 22FDX+ with a broader set of features and options to address IoT, 5G, automotive and satellite communications applications.

The first specialty solution within 22FDX+ will be 22FDX RF+, the company said. With both digital and RF enhancements, the new 22FDX RF+ solution is optimized to boost the performance of front-end-module (FEM) designs. The 22FDX RF+ specialty solution will be available in 1Q21, and manufactured at Globalfoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. also announced the availability of a mixed-signal OpenAccess process design kit (PDK) that supports the 22nm platform. The PDK enables Cadence’s digital, custom and RF design tools to work with the 22FDX platform supporting 5G mmWave, edge artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and automotive application design.

When asked about any implications for the next node, 12FDX, Bami Bastani, senior vice president of general manager of the mobile and wireless business unit at Globalfoundries said: “The 12FDX program is alive and well. It has a lot in common with our 12nm FinFET process so we are about 60 percent done. We are optimizing the process.” Bastani added that Globalfoundries expects to be in production on 12FDX in 2023 or 2024.

“We are not a slave to device sizes. We are application focused. We offer what applications need such as embedded memory. 12nm will come not because it is 12nm but because it can add features that only we can supply,” said Tom Caulfield, CEO of Globalfoundries.

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