Globalfoundries and IBM have announced an agreement to jointly manufacture advanced computer chips at the companies’ semiconductor fabs in New York’s “Tech Valley.” The chips are the first silicon produced at Globalfoundries’ newest and most advanced manufacturing facility, ‘Fab 8’ in Saratoga County, and are planned to ramp to volume production in the second half of 2012.
The chips are based on IBM’s 32nm, Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, which was jointly developed with Globalfoundries and other members of IBM’s Process Development Alliance, with early research at the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The technology vastly improves microprocessor performance in multi-core designs and speeds the movement of graphics in gaming, networking, and other image intensive, multi-media applications, says IBM. Incidentally, the SOI process was used to build the microprocessor that powered IBM Watson, the question-answering computer that won the Jeopardy show in early 2011.
Michael Cadigan (General manager, IBM Microelectronics): IBM has helped make New York State one of the world’s premier locations for semiconductor design and manufacturing. Recently, we announced that we would spend $3.6 billion researching and developing new silicon technology in New York.
Globalfoundries new Fab 8 campus, located in the Luther Forest Technology Campus about 100 miles north of the IBM campus in East Fishkill, stands as one of the most technologically advanced wafer fabs in the world and the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States. When fully ramped, the total clean-room space will be approximately 300,000 square feet and will be capable of a total output of approximately 60,000 wafers per month. Fab 8 will focus on leading-edge manufacturing at 32/28nm and below.
Globalfoundries was launched in March 2009 through a partnership between AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC).