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Global Foundries Putting 7 nm On Hold Indefinitely

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: 01:55PM

This is not news I think many were expecting to see, but today Global Foundries announced it is putting its development of its 7 nm FinFET process on hold indefinitely. This is as part of a strategy shift by the company to focus on its 14/12 nm FinFET platform, which can produce chips at a lower cost than 7 nm would. This means more business for the company as more clients can afford to work with GF, but it will also expand its offerings on this platform as well. This includes adding features such as RF, embedded memory, and low power.

As Anandtech points out, this move is economical for the company as it is far from easy to develop and deploy a new process node, like 7 nm. The cost to develop the technology is in the billions, and that cost would either need to be passed on to the current clients, making the company less competitive, or taking the costs on itself, hoping to make it back when the 7 nm process can turn out products. As you cannot know if a node will be successful until it is or is not, this amounts to a billion dollar gamble, and apparently the company has decided to not take it. Global Foundries leading-edge Fab 8 is running at full capacity churning out product using its 14LPP node, and compromising this to try for 7 nm is not necessarily the wisest move.

This move could prove to have an interesting impact on AMD, which GF had spun off from years ago. This resulted in an agreement between the two for AMD to exclusively use GF for silicon wafers, though this deal was rewritten in recent years, allowing it to work with TSMC as well. We already know it is TSMC making the 7 nm Vega Instinct GPU and Zen 2-based EPYC CPUs, and now it looks like it might be TSMC making even more of AMD's products, as the company moves to 7 nm designs for its components.

Source: Global Foundries and Anandtech

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