What 2011 Taught Us?

It’s difficult to believe that just 12 short months ago we started this blog site.  Over the year, I’ve explored and discussed many different aspects of the foundry ecosystem from new process technologies, the need for ecosystem collaboration and customer engagements.  I even detoured briefly to talk to the good folks at Second Harvest Food Bank about the important work they’re doing to fight hunger in Silicon Valley.  But, what has 2011 really taught us?

For Samsung, 45nm was our major workhorse in the fab.  The majority of the wafers we manufactured were at this technology node.  We foresee 45nm to remain strong and expect a fast ramp of 32/28nm HKMG in the new year.

Gate-first High-k Metal Gate at 32/28nm turned out to be the absolute right decision.  We have several highly complex SoC production-ready designs in manufacturing right now that are successfully using 32nm HKMG.   

High-performance/low-power designs remain a top priority for our customers.  To address that need, we introduced a new, high-performance version of 28nm – 28nm LPH.  This process node offers a range of transistor solutions that are attractive options to those customers needing more speed while maintaining the low power consumption demanded by mobile systems.

Being able to offer enough capacity at these very advanced nodes is going to be a game changer in the industry.  Today, Samsung is one of the few foundry players building more fab capacity.  Our recent Samsung Austin announcement on finishing our logic clean room in record time is a testament to our long-term strategy in the foundry market.  By bringing up the logic fab in Austin in 2011, we essentially doubled our overall 300mm logic capacity to over 90,000 wafers per month.

The natural disasters in Japan and Thailand also have shown a spotlight on the need for a more geographically diverse supply chain.  Crisis planning is a top-priority for all companies in the foundry ecosystem.

If 2011 is any indication; I expect 2012 to be an exciting and important year for Samsung Foundry. As 2011 comes to a close, I would like to thank all our customers and partners for your business and support and wish you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. 

What where your views on the semiconductor foundry industry in 2011? I’d like to hear from you.

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year from all of us at Samsung Foundry!