It's been a while since we've last heard something about the FD-SOI process technology but today GlobalFoundries informs the world it has added a 12nm FD-SOI (12FDX) node to its FD-SOI roadmap.
As a reminder, AMD abandoned SOI years ago and GlobalFoundries positions this node as a platform for mobile computing, 5G connectivity and all-round Internet of Things chips. it seeks to strike a balance between price and performance. GlobalFoundries says its 12nm FD-SOI process can deliver performance similar to chips made on a 10nm FinFET process and with much better power consumption and a lower cost than 16nm FinFET chips. Full details in the press release below, GlobalFoundries expects the first customer tape-outs will occur in the first half of 2019.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES today unveiled a new 12nm FD-SOI semiconductor technology, extending its leadership position by offering the industry’s first multi-node FD-SOI roadmap. Building on the success of its 22FDXTM offering, the company’s next-generation 12FDXTM platform is designed to enable the intelligent systems of tomorrow across a range of applications, from mobile computing and 5G connectivity to artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.
As the world becomes more and more integrated through billions of connected devices, many emerging applications demand a new approach to semiconductor innovation. The chips that make these applications possible are evolving into mini-systems, with increased integration of intelligent components including wireless connectivity, non-volatile memory, and power management—all while driving ultra-low power consumption. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new 12FDX technology is specifically architected to deliver these unprecedented levels of system integration, design flexibility, and power scaling.
12FDX sets a new standard for system integration, providing an optimized platform for combining radio frequency (RF), analog, embedded memory, and advanced logic onto a single chip. The technology also provides the industry’s widest range of dynamic voltage scaling and unmatched design flexibility via software-controlled transistors—capable of delivering peak performance when and where it is needed, while balancing static and dynamic power for the ultimate in energy efficiency.
“Some applications require the unsurpassed performance of FinFET transistors, but the vast majority of connected devices need high levels of integration and more flexibility for performance and power consumption, at costs FinFET cannot achieve,” said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Sanjay Jha. “Our 22FDX and 12FDX technologies fill a gap in the industry’s roadmap by providing an alternative path for the next generation of connected intelligent systems. And with our FDX platforms, the cost of design is significantly lower, reopening the door for advanced node migration and spurring increased innovation across the ecosystem.”
GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new 12FDX technology is built on a 12nm fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) platform, enabling the performance of 10nm FinFET with better power consumption and lower cost than 16nm FinFET. The platform offers a full node of scaling benefit, delivering a 15 percent performance boost over today’s FinFET technologies and as much as 50 percent lower power consumption.
“Chip manufacturing is no longer one-shrink-fits-all. While FinFET is the technology of choice for the highest-performance products, the industry roadmap is less clear for many cost-sensitive mobile and IoT products, which require the lowest possible power while still delivering adequate clock speeds,” said Linley Gwennap, founder and principal analyst of the Linley Group. “GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22FDX and 12FDX technologies are well positioned to fill this gap by offering an alternative migration path for advanced node designs, particularly those seeking to reduce power without increasing die cost. Today, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is the only purveyor of FD-SOI at 22nm and below, giving it a clear differentiation.”
“When 22FDX first came out from GLOBALFOUNDRIES, I saw some game-changing features. The real-time tradeoffs in power and performance could not be ignored by those needing to differentiate their designs,” said G. Dan Hutcheson, chairman and CEO of VLSI Research. “Now with its new 12FDX offering, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is showing a clear commitment to delivering a roadmap for this technology -- especially for IoT and Automotive, which are the most disruptive forces in the market today. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ FD-SOI technologies will be a critical enabler of this disruption.”
“FD-SOI technology can provide real-time trade-offs in power, performance and cost for those needing to differentiate their designs," said Handel Jones, founder and CEO, IBS, Inc. “GLOBALFOUNDRIES' new 12FDX offering delivers the industry’s first FD-SOI roadmap that brings the lowest cost migration path for advanced node design, enabling tomorrow's connected systems for Intelligent Clients, 5G, AR/VR, Automotive markets."
GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany is currently putting the conditions in place to enable the site's 12FDX development activities and subsequent manufacturing. Customer product tape-outs are expected to begin in the first half of 2019.
"We are excited about the GLOBALFOUNDRIES 12FDX offering and the value it can provide to customers in China," said Dr. Xi Wang, Director General, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology. “Extending the FD-SOI roadmap will enable customers in markets such as mobile, IoT, and automotive to leverage the power efficiency and performance benefits of the FDX technologies to create competitive products."
“NXP's next generation of i.MX multimedia applications processors are leveraging the benefits of FD-SOI to achieve both leadership in power efficiency and scaling performance-on-demand for automotive, industrial and consumer applications,” said Ron Martino, vice president, i.MX applications processor product line at NXP Semiconductors. “GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 12FDX technology is a great addition to the industry because it provides a next generation node for FD-SOI that will further extend planar device capability to deliver lower risk, wider dynamic range, and compelling cost-performance for smart, connected and secure systems of tomorrow.”
“As one of the first movers of design for FD-SOI, VeriSilicon leverages its Silicon Platform as a Service (SiPaaS) together with experience in delivering best-in-class IPs and design services for SoCs,” said Wayne Dai, president and CEO of VeriSilicon. “The unique benefits of FD-SOI technologies enable us to differentiate in the automotive, IoT, mobility, and consumer market segments. We look forward to extending our collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES on their 12FDX offering and providing high-quality, low-power and cost-effective solutions to our customers for the China market.”
“12FDX development will deliver another breakthrough in power, performance, and intelligent scaling as 12nm is best for double patterning and delivers best system performance and power at the lowest process complexity,” said Marie Semeria, CEO of Leti, an institute of CEA Tech. “We are pleased to see the results of the collaboration between the Leti teams and GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the U.S. and Germany extending the roadmap for FD-SOI technology, which will become the best platform for full system on chip integration of connected devices.”
“We are very pleased to see a strong momentum and a very solid adoption from fabless customers in 22FDX offering. Now this new 12FDX offering will further expand FD-SOI market adoption,” said Paul Boudre, Soitec CEO. “At Soitec, we are fully prepared to support GLOBALFOUNDRIES with high volumes, high quality FD-SOI substrates from 22nm to 12nm. This is an amazing opportunity for our industry just in time to support a big wave of new mobile and connected applications.”