With 2014 quickly coming to a close, December offers an opportunity to take stock of the past 11 months and look forward to the next 12. For the foundry industry, 2014 was defined by 14nm FinFET coming online; FD-SOI going mainstream; and Collaboration making it all possible. From my view here at Samsung Foundry, I would concur with all of these trends and add the following thoughts:
- 14nm FinFET
With the addition of 3D FinFET architecture, the 14nm process node separates those foundries with truly advanced, high-volume manufacturing expertise. This has put pressure on those fabless semiconductor companies who compete at the leading-edge. Samsung’s 14nm technology delivers high performance, low power and best-in-class chip size area scaling over competing solutions. We are making this technology more accessible – the agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES regarding the licensing of our 14nm FinFET process was a significant move forward to ensure manufacturing capacity availability and sourcing flexibility. Essentially, we reinvented the foundry supply chain model by offering customers a true single GDSII, multi-sourcing option at 14nm – one design, multiple fabs. Hands down, this was a game changing move.
Long considered an oddity in the foundry market landscape, FD-SOI received a huge vote of confidence when Samsung licensed the process technology from ST-Micro. As predicted, 28nm will be long-lived with multiple product generations taped-out and manufactured on this process node. Recognizing this trend, Samsung has taken steps to build out its 28nm process portfolio. Adding 28nm FD-SOI was a bold, unexpected move. We understand the need to enable the technology so that designs can start immediately. 28FDSOI comes with a complete design ecosystem (PDK, Library, IP, and DFM). Customers who are looking to manufacture faster, cooler, and simpler devices at 28nm should look no further – 28FDSOI is the ideal choice.
From the very beginning, collaboration with key industry partners has been at the heart of all our successful foundry ventures. Early work with EDA and IP partners to optimize advanced process nodes is the only way to make sure that customers see first-time silicon success with their next-generation SoCs designs. 2014 was no different. ARM, Cadence, Mentor and Synopsys’ early work with Samsung Foundry at 14nm has allowed us to deliver early results to our customer with some extremely positive feedback.
If 2014 was a whirlwind, I expect 2015 to be even more exciting. What’s in store? We’ll continue down the same successful path with our design, IP and manufacturing ecosystem partners. And, we very much look forward to working with new and existing customers to make their products a reality. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!