Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

New York Makes The Best Chips

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Did you know that they’re now going to be making chips in upstate New York?

Workers prep Global Foundries' newest semiconductor factory, "Fab 8" in Saratoga County, New York State. The fab comes on line for the first time with a maiden production run of microprocessors based on IBM's latest, 32nm, silicon-on-insulator chip technology. The chips will be used by manufacturers in networking, gaming and graphics.

No, we’re not talking potato chips.  Although they may make those as well, for all I know.

We’re talking advanced computer chips that will be jointly manufactured by GLOBALFOUNDRIES and IBM at the companies’ semiconductor fabs in New York’s “Tech Valley.”

The chips will be the first silicon produced at GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ newest and most advanced manufacturing facility, “Fab 8,” in Saratoga County.

The new products started life in production at IBM’s 300mm fab in East Fishkill, and the two companies expect to ramp up to volume production in the second half of this year.

The new chips will be 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 new 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.

Watson, What Are You Made Of?

The SOI process was used to build the microprocessor that powered IBM Watson, the question-answering computer that won the “Jeopardy!” quiz show in early 2011.

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.

The companies’ 32/28nm technology uses the same “Gate First” approach to High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) that has reached volume production in GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany.

This approach to HKMG offers higher performance with a 10-20% cost saving over HKMG solutions offered by other foundries, while still providing the full entitlement of scaling from the 45/40nm node.

“IBM has helped make New York State one of the world’s premier locations for semiconductor design and manufacturing,” said Michael Cadigan, general manager, IBM Microelectronics, of the effort. “Recently, we announced that we would spend $3.6 billion researching and developing new silicon technology in New York. We bring the skills, investments and partnerships that keep New York at the forefront of advanced silicon development and manufacturing.”

Written by turbotodd

January 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

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