GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Agreement with Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology of Abu Dhabi for Twin Lab

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GLOBALFOUNDRIES signed a MOU with Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology of Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Nov. 26, to set up an Abu Dhabi-Singapore Twin Lab. The Twin Lab will aim to advance electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technologies for automotive, aerospace, consumer, healthcare, environmental monitoring, industrial and mobility applications.

The announcement was made at the 7th convening of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum (ADJSF) hosted in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo Convention Centre. The total funding pledged was US $21 million for three years.

The Twin Lab is a unique collaborative effort between research institutions and industry with GLOBALFOUNDRIES as the industrial partner. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will serve as an overall program manager, as well as manufacturing partner for the Twin Lab. The partnership will help GLOBALFOUNDRIES to expand its IP portfolio to address MEMS high-volume manufacturing at effective cost levels and capacity to serve the fast growing MEMS market.

As the academic partner, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute will develop device designs based on market requirements and the Institute of Microelectronics Singapore will serve as the research institute for the execution of design concepts. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will work closely with ATIC and EDB to bring these concepts into realization.

The initial areas of focus for the Twin Lab will include MEMS inertial sensors, energy harvesters, nano-opto-mechanical sensors, and ultrasonic transducers. The collaboration is intended to deliver capabilities that can mitigate power issues in high performance devices, such as automobile, industrial and autonomous wireless sensor nodes. It is also expected to improve sensitivity and accuracy for effective detection in healthcare, aerospace and industry applications.

 “We are pleased to be in a strategic and mutually beneficial collaboration with the renowned research institutes from Singapore and Abu Dhabi,” said Mr. K. C. Ang, Senior Vice President and General Manager of GLOBALFOUNDRIES Singapore. “This joint partnership will enable us to harness their R&D capabilities to create innovative technologies that will further solidify and strengthen our foundation in MEMS manufacturing.” 

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Experts to Present at SEMICON West 2013

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The countdown is on for SEMICON West 2013! GLOBALFOUNDRIES is gearing up for a number of exciting events which will take place at the exhibition next week. The event, which runs from July 9-11 in San Francisco, will highlight key advances in manufacturing technologies, device architectures, lithography, MEMS, packaging and materials technology, in addition to other semiconductor research and development.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha will deliver the opening keynote address on Foundry-Driven Innovation in the Mobility Era, which will cover new challenges, players and technology caused by the increasing demand for mobile devices. His presentation will take place on July 9 at 9 a.m. at the Keynote Stage in Esplanade Hall. After his keynote, Ajit will be officially awarded the “SEMI Outstanding EHS Achievement Award – Inspired by Akira Inoue,” for his contributions in the areas of environment, health and safety. To read more about the honor, check out our recent blog post that details Ajit’s leadership in the field and contributions to GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ environment and safety.

In addition to these presentations by Ajit, a number of GLOBALFOUNDRIES experts will present TechXPOTs including;

Tuesday, July 9:

Wednesday, July 10:

All GLOBALFOUNDRIES TechXPOTS will take place at the South Hall of the Moscone Center. We encourage all who are interested in these topics to register and attend to learn more about GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ development, innovation and role in the industry.

In addition to our TechXPOT presentations, GLOBALFOUNDRIES will sponsor the MIG Member Cocktail Party on July 10 at Restaurant LuLu. This event will be a great opportunity for members of the MEMS community to network, catch up with colleagues and become further immersed in SEMICON West.

We look forward to meeting and interacting with all members of the semiconductor community at the show. To register for this event, check out the SEMICON website and be sure to follow GLOBALFOUNDRIES participation on Twitter via #SEMICONWest!

GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Honored for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Leadership

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This morning, SEMI announced that GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha received this year’s “SEMI Outstanding EHS Achievement Award – Inspired by Akira Inoue.” Named after the late Akira Inoue who served as president of Tokyo Electron Limited, the award recognizes individuals in industry and academia who have made significant contributions in the area of environment, health and safety (EHS) by exercising leadership or demonstrating innovation in the development of processes, products or materials that reduce EHS impacts during semiconductor manufacturing.

Within GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Manocha leads the company’s Executive Stewards Council (ESC), the leadership forum for strategic direction and accountability of risk management and corporate responsibility issues affecting GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Manocha’s leadership within GLOBALFOUNDRIES has resulted in significant EHS achievements for the organization, including the following;

  • Driving a vision consisting of a zero-incident workplace. The company achieved 2012 employee total incidence case and lost-day case rates well below US industry benchmarking. Manocha ensured that there was a strong emphasis on safety metrics in executive projects at Fab 8 in Malta, New York and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Singapore Fabs all received “Silver Awards” for Health and Safety.
  • Setting global goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water and energy consumption by significant percentages by 2015.
  • Utilizing reclaimed NEWater at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Singapore for incoming supply and continuing to pursue multiple energy-efficiency and water reduction projects. Energy efficiency projects in 2012 achieved reductions of 50 GWh, with a 2013 goal of a further 57 GWh reduction.
  • Meeting customer requests for “Tantalum Conflict-free” products in 2012.
  • Transforming Fab 1 in Dresden from a dedicated IDM fab to high-volume foundry operation, powered by two energy-efficient tri-generation power plants.

Manocha’s leadership also extends further beyond GLOBALFOUNDRIES into the entire electronics ecosystem;

  • Under his leadership as Vice Chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Board of Directors in 2011, he played a vital role in pushing forward EHS initiatives ranging from climate protection to chemical management and occupational health and safety.
  • For the last two years, Manocha has been the SIA Executive champion for EHS matters at the World Semiconductor Council.
    • At the 2012 annual CEO meeting of the WSC, Manocha shepherd the discussion of EHS topics and persuaded his fellow CEO’s to take action to protect the environment, conserve resources, and achieve the PFC reduction goal. For its part, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ newest US fab, Fab 8 meets the WSC Best Practice commitment for PFC reduction. Fab 1 has incorporated best practices for PFC reduction since 1999.
    • At the 2013 WSC meeting Manocha championed a “Conflict-free Supply Chain” policy to address concerns related to sourcing material tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold from “conflict regions” of the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. The WSC subsequently adopted such a policy. For its part, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has already met customer requests for “Tantalum Conflict-free” products in 2012.

The Award will be presented to Manocha in person on July 9th during his SEMICON West Opening Keynote on the future of semiconductor technology. As a company this is a huge honor and we look forward to progressing out EHS goals even further this year and beyond.

The Mobile Revolution: Taking it to the Next Level

By Srinivas Nori

Today our friends at ARM announced the launch of their newest processor targeted at the rapidly growing market for mid-range mobile devices. The ARM Cortex-A12 processor is expected to offer a significant performance uplift and direct upgrade path from the highly successful Cortex-A9 processor, while matching the energy-efficiency of its predecessor.

Most of the attention these days goes to the latest and greatest high-end superphones and tablets—and of course ARM has processors to serve this important segment—but the market for entry-level and mid-range smartphones is where the real growth is expected to occur in the coming years. For example, a recent report by ABI research projected that shipments of sub-$250 smartphones will grow from 259 million units in 2013 to 788 million units in 2018, at which point they will make up nearly half (46%) of the global smartphone market.

What do consumers want in an entry-level smartphone? They expect similar levels of performance and battery life as enabled by application processors for high-end smartphones, but in a more cost-effective system. Delivering this functionality is no small challenge, and it requires a tight partnership between SoC design and process technology to optimize performance, power, and cost.

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Timeline of GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM’s relationship

We have been collaborating for years to optimize ARM processors for GLOBALFOUNDRIES leading-edge process technology. Today, in conjunction with the launch of the Cortex-A12 processor, we announced new power, performance and cost optimized POP™ IP technology offerings for the ARM Cortex-A12 and ARM Cortex-A7 processors for our 28nm-SLP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. You can read more here about this latest milestone in our multi-year collaboration with ARM. The upshot is that this combination of ARM’s processor IP and our leading-edge process technology will enable a new level of system performance and power efficiency with the optimum economics necessary to serve the market for mid-range mobile devices. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm-SLP process technology and associated ARM POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor enables up to 70 percent higher performance (measured single-thread performance) and up to 2x better power efficiency in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor using 40nm process technology. Designers can achieve even higher performance by trading off for lower power efficiency, depending on their application needs.

But of course the technology industry continues its relentless march forward, and we have no plans to stop there. We are already collaborating to optimize ARM processor IP for our next-generation 14nm-XM technology. Our 14 nm-XM offering is based on a modular technology architecture that uses a 14nm FinFET device combined with elements of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ proven 20 nm-LPM process, which will give SoC designers the benefits of FinFET technology with reduced risk and time-to-market. The XM stands for “eXtreme Mobility,” and it is truly optimized for mobile SoC designs.

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14XM Dual-Core Cortex-A9 PPA Proof Point. Similar results are expected for Cortex-A12

Back in February at the Common Platform Technology Forum, we announced results from the industry’s first implementation of a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 processor using FinFET transistors. We found the following results for a Cortex-A9 processor implemented on 14nm-XM technology. Similar results are expected for Cortex-A12 processor implementations.

Here are the technical details:

  • High-performance, energy-efficient ARM processors implemented on 28nm-SLP typically use 12-track libraries. However at 14nm-XM FinFET technology, much higher performance and more energy-efficient ARM processors can be implemented using 9-track libraries resulting in further die-size reductions.
  • At constant power, the frequency achieved with 14nm-XM technology based implementation (using 9-track libraries) is expected to be 61% faster than the frequency achieved with 28nm-SLP technology based implementation (using 12-track libraries).
  • At constant frequency, the power consumed by 14nm-XM technology based implementation is expected to be 62% lower than the power consumed by 28nm-SLP technology based implementation.
  • The performance-power efficiency of 14nm-XM technology based implementation (expressed as DMIPs/milliwatts) is anticipated to be more than twice that of the 28nm-SLP technology based implementation, while using half the silicon area.

The mobile revolution has only just begun. We are excited to see where this dynamic industry will go next, and you can be sure we will continue collaborating with innovative partners like ARM to bring the next generation of connected devices to life.

Srinivas Nori is director, SoC innovation at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. In this role Srinivas owns the GLOBALFOUNDRIES strategy and realization for ARM ecosystem based solutions. Srinivas also oversees the exploration, identification, evaluation and collaborative offering of innovative SoC solutions.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Highlight Technology Innovation at DAC 2013

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GLOBALFOUNDRIES is ramping up for the Design Automation Conference (DAC) this summer! During the event, which runs from June 3-6 in Austin, Texas, GLOBALFOUNDRIES will be featuring the latest details on its mainstream and leading-edge technology solutions and roadmap.  

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will be located at booth #1314 at DAC 13 for the duration of the event. In addition to highlighting our new 14nm-XM FinFET technology that will deliver more than twice the energy efficiency of a 28nm-SLP technology-based design, we’ll be demonstrating several products, including:

  • 20nm/14XM solutions; 28nm design methodology (Analog and Digital)
  • 28nm Super Low Power (SLP) Technology with Gate First HKMG, the optimized solution for high performance mobile applications, fully enabled today with design kits and IP
  • GlobalShuttle, the Multi Project Wafer program for product prototyping, device characterization, IP validation and design enablement
  • RF CMOS and other value added solution process modules
  • DFM; analog and digital reference flows; process-specific applications

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will also host a series of one-hour private technical seminars daily, which  will touch on a variety of topics, from our collaborative work with ARM to produce smartphones on our 28nm-SLP HKMG process to parasitic challenges for FinFET designs and analog mixed signal flows and methodology for double patterning and FinFETs. Pre-registration will be required for these informative seminars.

In addition to the seminars, a number of presentations and theater presentations will be given throughout the week including:

Tuesday, June 4

  • Pavilion Panel, Dave McCann: Is This the Right Time to Create Standards for 2.5D/3D-IC Designs?
  • Synopsys Breakfast, Subi Kengeri and Kelvin Low: Ready for Deploying 14XM FinFETs in Your Next Mobile SoC Design Management Day, Bob Madge: Decision-Making for Complex ICs
  • Cadence IP Talks, Subi Kengeri: Enabling SoC level differentiation through advanced technology R&D

Wednesday, June 5

  • Mentor Panel, Richard Trihy, No Fear of FinFET
  • Pavilion Panel, Luigi Capodieci, Learn the Secrets of Design for Yield

For more information and to schedule meetings at the show, check out our DAC microsite.  

Bringing MEMS to the Mainstream: Latest Milestones and Future Trends

By: Rakesh Kumar

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The MEMS market is set to explode: by 2017 the market is expected to be worth $12.2 billion, a 50 percent increase from 2011, according to IHS iSuppli. Driving this growth will be the continued usage of MEMs devices for consumer applications, such as smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and cameras. Additionally, new products such as silicon timing devices, tunable capacitors for antennas, autofocus actuators and pico-projectors are also emerging as market drivers.

In 2011, GLOBALFOUNDRIES laid the basis for our work in MEMS technology by qualifying products for our established customers and creating new customer relationships for the manufacturing of their products. Check out our previous post to learn more about the development of our MEMS technology in 2011.

We took the opportunity to ramp up our MEMS products in 2012. We observed that some of the unique MEMS tools on the market still lacked a level of ruggedness or maturity. To resolve that issue, we worked with our tool supplier to make improvements and optimize MEMS technology for large volume manufacturing. In 2012, we were also able to provide our customers with products for final reliability qualifications with very high yields.

The majority of MEMS devices require some degree of customization and standardized platforms may not be possible for all kinds of devices. Therefore, our initial focus was to develop key module and integration capabilities that would allow us to provide some form of reproducible and reusable building blocks for various MEMS devices. Some examples of such building blocks include cavity SOI wafers, poly TSV for interconnects, and hermetic sealing for wafer level encpasulation . In addition to these building blocks, we are working with A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore to develop some platform technologies for specific applications as part of their MEMS consortium.

We are currently working on new processes and products that are on schedule for manufacturing by the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year. Many integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless companies have started process development with GLOBALFOUNDRIES. It is one of our biggest achievements that we have not only satisfied our customers, but also attracted potential new customers because of our capabilities and success.

Looking ahead, MEMS companies can only be successful if they offer a full solution to the end customer from design to application development, firmware, software etc. In the past, IDMs fulfilled this role; however, fabless companies are now beginning to meet the integration requirements, either by themselves or in partnerships with companies. Thus, we will begin to see fabless companies posing a big challenge to IDMs. The challenge will be the ability to get suitable MEMS foundries that can provide development support, shorter time to market and can build the capacity required to meet the demands of the consumer market.

We see an important role for foundries to play in order for the market to meet that challenge. We’re capable of using our processes to enable new product development, provide a fast ramp to production and offer competitive costs of manufacturing. We envision taking the role of a single supplier to provide the complete manufacturing solution that will allow our customers to focus on product design, firmware, applications and system level support. We can achieve this by not only offering device fabrication services, but also extending it to complete back end solutions in partnership with OSAT houses. With the careful selection of products and partners, we can create a pipeline of products that can provide a stiff competition to IDMs.

Throughout 2013, our focus will be on ramping up the production of MEMS significantly for the qualified products. We also plan to simultaneously continue our efforts to qualify more customer products. We see a number of challenges and growth opportunities in MEMS development, including the recent wave of MEMS sensors in relation to consumer applications areas. However, with increasing awareness of MEMS sensors and actuators and decreasing costs of system/subsystems use of MEMS devices, the MEMS market will grow significantly for automotive, industrial, safety/security and healthcare applications. With continued progress in the field, we hope to see motion sensor adoption in systems, tools which can detect variations for maintenance, energy harvester and bio-MEMS. 2013 will be another exciting year for MEMs and we look forward to the ride.

Rakesh Kumar is senior director of the MEMS program at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Based in Singapore, he has over 25 years of experience in semiconductor process technology development for CMOS, MEMS and Silicon based opto-electronics devices. 

This entry was originally posted on SemiMD.

This Week: GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Present at Several Industry-Focused Events

This week will be very busy for GLOBALFOUNDRIES, as we’ll be attending and speaking at a handful of industry events. We’ve included all the important details below, including dates, sessions and more. We’re excited for the upcoming week and hope you’ll join us!

The Linley Group Mobile Conference

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On Wednesday, April 17th, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Executive Vice President Mike Noonen will present at The Linley Group Mobile Conference 2013. This two-day conference will feature technical presentations addressing design issues for mobile devices such as tablet computers, smartphones, navigation devices, media players and more. In addition to hearing an overview of the market and current technologies, attendees have the opportunity to attend talks and panel discussions covering a variety of topics.

Mike Noonen will be featured during session two, on mobile SoC design, which will be moderated by Scott Gardner, senior analyst at The Linley Group. Mike’s presentation, entitled “Lessons from Barcelona: The Future of Mobile Technology is Here,” will focus on the semiconductor industry’s progress in bringing FinFET technology to the mobile SoC market, as well as recent developments in FinFET technology by GLOBALFOUNDRIES and our partners.

GSA Silicon Summit

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On April 18th, Bruce Kleinman, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ vice president of product marketing, will moderate a panel at the GSA Silicon Summit in Mountain View, CA. This event focuses on the business and technical factors which will yield revolutionary electronic devices in the future.

Bruce’s session, “Integration Challenges and Opportunities,” will cover the need for unifying silicon technologies and changing business models to advance the future of electronic devices. Panelists include Jim Aralis (Microsemi), Dr. Misha Burich (Altera), Dr. William Chen (ASE), Steve Longoria (Soitec) and Dr. Robert Rogenmoser (SuVolta). For more updates from this event, follow the Twitter hashtag #GSAsummit.

Electronic Design Process Symposium

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Finally, on Friday, April 19th, representatives from GLOBALFOUNDRIES will participate on a panel at the 2013 Electronic Design Process Symposium (EDPS). The EDPS, which is now in its 20th year, features the “free exchange of ideas” among top industry influencers in chips and systems. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Fellows, Srinivasa Banna and Luigi Capodieci, will speak at 1 p.m. about FinFET foundry design enablement challenges.

Follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for more information and updates on these events.