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  • conmen_brokemen conmen_brokemen Sep 29, 2012 9:00 PM Flag

    Intel gonna have HUGE Foundry business AND It's normal business over time

    Stock being given away at 22 right now. JMHO.

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    • Singh, you can cut and paste all day you can't change the FACTS that Intel has 3 solid Foundry cus tomers now and it looks like a GIGANTIC 4th in Cisco. You can't change it. You can't stop it. You're an idiot anyway. You say Intel is going to single digits........yet you'll cover at 19. What about Single digits and 19 not being on the same planet don't you understand? lol

    • Firms Rethink Fabless-Foundry Model

      By Mark LaPedus
      As chipmakers move toward 20nm designs, finFETs and 3D stacked devices, the industry is beginning to re-think the fabless-foundry model.

      Leading-edge foundries are finally getting serious about the “virtual IDM” model, in which vendors will act more like integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), as opposed to being mere production partners. In this model, the foundries are not only manufacturing partners, but there is a deeper collaboration within a customer’s design team.

      In fact, given the variability challenges with finFETs, there is a school of thought that chipmakers must reside at the same physical location as their foundry partners’ fabs to ensure that design and manufacturing are on the same page. Otherwise, according to some experts, the chances for first-silicon success are shaky.

      For this reason and others, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) may take the “virtual IDM” model a step further. TSMC is considering a plan to build separate fabs for individual companies. And as part of its strategy, TSMC has accelerated its finFET roadmap.

      Rival GlobalFoundries is considering a plan to offer dedicated modules within a fab for customers. And taking another approach, United Microelectronics Corp. has floated an equity placement under which companies can buy a 10% stake in UMC. UMC also has licensed IBM’s 20nm and finFET technologies.

      Another foundry vendor, Samsung Electronics Co, has perhaps set the tone for the industry: It has already built a dedicated fab for Apple. And separately, in a surprise move, fabless chipmaker Qualcomm is considering the idea of building its own fab to gain better control of the manufacturing process.

      Qualcomm CEO “Paul Jacobs has discussed it openly of late,” said G. Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research. “Qualcomm certainly has the revenues to build its own fab and start making its own wafers. The chance of success is still low. It would cost at least three times, and possibly as much as five times, to successfully get your first fab to viable production, or approximately $15 billion to $25 billion. In other words, it would be an out-of-body experience for the management team that tries it.”

      Sea of change
      In any case, there could be a sea of change taking place in the traditional fabless-foundry model. “The traditional foundry model, where you throw a GDS2 file over the wall, no longer works,” said Mojy Chian, senior vice president of design enablement at GlobalFoundries. “We have to work closer with the fabless guys. New challenges at 20nm and beyond will require deep, IDM-like collaboration to accelerate the time-to-market. In fact, the collaboration should start two to two-and-a-half years ahead of tape out.”

      In the late 1980s, the pure-play foundries emerged, which spawned a plethora of fabless companies. One of the drawbacks with the fabless-foundry model is that the design houses and foundries sometimes work in silos and do not cooperate. In some cases, fabless vendors will throw a clunky design “over the wall” to the foundries, which are still expected to make the chip on time. This brute-force methodology has experienced mixed success.

      The fabless and foundry firms began to change their ways at the 130nm node amid soaring IC design and manufacturing costs. “130nm is when process and design began to be recoupled. The result was the rise of DFM, which didn’t exist before then,” said VLSI’s Hutcheson.

      Then, starting in the early part of this decade, several foundries billed themselves as “virtual IDMs,” claiming they would work more closely with customers. But some of those efforts have fallen short of expectations. “The leading fabless suppliers got hurt badly when the leading foundries hadn’t dealt well with variability at 40nm, and more recently, with design-manufacturing interactive yield losses at 28nm,” Hutcheson said.

      Now, as the IC industry moves toward the 20nm node and beyond, the foundries have become more serious about embracing the “virtual IDM” model and for good reason: The stakes are higher. At 130nm, a fab was $1.45 billion, process R&D costs were $250 million, and design costs were $15 million. But at 22nm, a fab runs $6.7 billion, process R&D is $1.3 billion, and design costs are $150 million.

      Simply put, the traditional foundry model must evolve. “You can’t do it in silos,” said Subramani Kengeri, head of advanced technology architecture at GlobalFoundries. “The key is to have a tighter integration between product design and manufacturing.”

      This is especially true in the finFET era. Intel has moved finFETs into production at 22nm. Given the variability issues, the foundries face challenges to put finFETs into production at 14nm.

      Intel and the foundries are in the bulk finFET camp. But to make the finFET transition easier, the foundries should look at silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, said Chenming Calvin Hu, professor of electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. “We are going to see (both bulk and SOI finFETs) in volume manufacturing,” Hu said. “[SOI] is easier. The supply chain is the one thing that manufacturers need to be assured of.”

      New business models
      On the business side, the industry could take one of two routes: Maintain the fabless-foundry status quo or move toward a “virtual IDM” model. Morris Chang, chairman and chief executive of TSMC, sees yet another model: Build dedicated fabs or joint-venture fabs for larger customers.

      “We made our mark serving many customers (in multiple fabs). We will retain that capability,” Chang said during a recent conference call. “There are going to be larger customers. So it makes complete sense to have one dedicated fab, or more than one fab, for one customer.”

      GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, is considering a slightly different model. “This is hypothetical,” said GlobalFoundries’ Kengeri. “Within a fab, we have modules. If one of our customers wants a dedicated module, it’s open for discussion.”

      In that arrangement, a chipmaker may have to share the risk and cost. And it must make economic sense. Clearly, though, Apple is one candidate for a dedicated fab. In fact, Samsung already has built a dedicated fab for Apple in Austin, Texas.

      Altera, Broadcom, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Xilinx are also possible candidates to occupy part or all of a fab. Qualcomm, for one, has the volumes and already is sourcing parts from all of the leading-edge foundries to keep up with 28nm demand.

      Qualcomm’s multi-foundry sourcing strategy “is a very expensive approach today, as designs don’t port to multiple foundries like they used to,” said VLSI’s Hutcheson. “Yields are far more difficult to obtain at these advanced nodes, and splitting production across multiple fabs means either less relevant data per learning cycle or longer learning cycle times. That results in longer time-to-money and higher costs, making going the IDM route seem more attractive.”

      It’s unlikely that Qualcomm will build its own fab, but it is possible it will end up with a joint venture fab with a foundry. In addition, Qualcomm and others would like the foundries to speed up their process roadmaps. The foundries are falling behind Intel, which also offers foundry services on a limited basis.

      TSMC, for one, plans to accelerate its finFET efforts. Originally, TSMC planned to introduce finFETs at 14nm by late 2014. Now, the company has no plans to brand its finFETs at 14nm, but rather it will introduce the technology at 16nm. TSMC’s finFET “risk production” is slated for the end of 2013 or early 2014, with production scheduled for the second half of 2015, Chang said.

      TSMC is not banking on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for 16nm. “We are very confident we can make 16nm finFETs without EUV,” he said. “I think EUV will come in at 10nm.”

      To accelerate 450mm fabs and EUV in the market, Intel recently inked a deal with ASML. ASML has also enabled customers to take a 25% stake in the company. Intel plans to acquire up to a 15% stake in ASML.

      TSMC and Samsung are also negotiating with ASML to take separate stakes in ASML. Taking a page from the ASML-Intel deal, UMC separately floated private equity shares under which strategic partners can take up to a 10% stake in UMC.

      This represents a change for UMC. The company has developed its own processes and has shied away from forming strategic alliances. UMC has controlled its own destiny, but it also has fallen behind its rivals.

      To jumpstart its process roadmap, UMC recently licensed 20nm and finFET technology from IBM. UMC’s finFET technology is reportedly a 14nm or 16nm front-end, with 20nm backend. “For UMC to do a finFET from scratch is very challenging,” said Shih-Wei Sun, chief executive of UMC, in a recent conference call. “This will kick start our finFET efforts.”

      GlobalFoundries and Samsung have yet to change their finFET strategies. GlobalFoundries still plans to roll out a finFET at the 14nm node in the fourth quarter of 2014 or first quarter of 2015, according to Kengeri.

    • Back to the point of this thread: Lots of companies need chips made. Lots of companies will choose Intel to make such chips and Intel will thrive for a long, long time. Cisco using Intel as a foundry is HUGE HUGE news. Just HUGE.

      • 1 Reply to conmen_brokemen
      • Globalfoundries to Take Over IBM's Manufacturing Capacity - Rumour Resurrects.
        New Challenges in Semiconductor World Can Lead to Transitions Across Manufacturing Industy
        [07/15/2012 01:12 PM]
        by Anton Shilov
        The rumors regarding possible acquisition of IBM'scontract semiconductor manufacturing divisions have just resurrected. This time it came out from an additional comment to a Future Horizons report. Perhaps, it makes a lot of sense. Or may not at all.

        "We assume GlobalFoundries will purchase IBM’s semiconductor division and that Hynix/Micron will buy up the remaining smaller memory firms," said an analysts from Future Horizons research company in an additional comment to the call for the European Union to fund transition to 450-mm wafer processing in Europe.

        450mm fabs cost $10 billion to build. Meanwhile, many chips nowadays become commodity products. Moreover, the margins of the foundry businesses are shrinking, which is why the contract semiconductor business make a great sense for Abu Dhabi (the emirate that controls Globalfoundries), which is looking forward for long-term investments and has plenty of money. For Europe in general, with the exception of countries like the Russian Federation (which budget is plagued by Vladimir Putin's military ambitions amid necessity for high oil and gas prices, which is why no investments into leading-edge manufacturing will be made while this president keeps office) and Germany (which needs to keep high-tech manufacturing at home, but does not want to support companies, yet it has finances to do so) long term investments are unlikely to be made by the governments despite of obvious necessity. Given the situation, it hardly makes sense for European private groups to help to invest into semiconductor manufacturing facilities due to lack of spare cash and the current economic climate.

        In the long run, commoditization will happen to complex chips, such as Qualcomm Snapdragon or Nvidia Tegra; hence, the margins in the foundry business will eventually drop. Historically, IBM has got rid of all commodity/low-margin businesses. As a result, in 450mm world, IBM may not be interested in doing this business in the long-term, but may enter the market of very [relatively] high-scale 450mm manufacturing as one of a few 450mm contract makers, enjoy the situation for several years (so to get part of the investments back), and then sell the business off to its partner, Globalfoundries.

        GF will have two leading-edge fabs located in one region, which will make it relatively easy to transfer manufacturing technologies from one to another, in a manner similar to Intel's "copy exactly". Such an approach explains why IBM teamed up with Intel, Globalfoundries, TSMC and Samsung to research 450mm production.

        Nonetheless, in case IBM wants to get rid of foundry business at 300mm level, then the negotiations are underway and the deal may happen rather sooner than later. On the other hand, this does not explain, why IBM is researching 450mm manufacturing.

    • The multi-year deal sees ARM tie itself even closer to TSMC, its chip-fabber of choice, as it looks to capitalise on the company's technology to help it maintain a lead over Intel for chip power efficiency

      ARM is ramping up its push to get its highly efficient low-power chips into servers by signing a multi-year agreement with Asian silicon manufacturer TSMC.

      Under the deal, the Cambridge-based chip designer has agreed to share technical details with TSMC to help the fabricator make better chips with higher yields, ARM said on Monday. TSMC will also share information, so that ARM can create designs better suited to its manufacturing.

      By working closely with TSMC, we are able to leverage TSMC's ability to quickly ramp volume production of highly integrated SoCs [System-on-a-Chip processors] in advanced silicon process technology," Simon Segars, general manager for ARM's processor and physical IP divisions, said in a statement.

      "The ongoing deep collaboration with TSMC provides customers earlier access to FinFET technology to bring high-performance, power-efficient products to market," he added.

      Read this

      Calxeda and HP unleash ARM server tech

      Read more
      The move should keep ARM's chip designs competitive with Intel's in the server market. TSMC's FinFET is akin to Intel's 3D 'tri-gate' method of designing processors with greater densities, which should deliver greater power efficiency and better performance from a cost point of view.

      By tweaking its chips to TSMC's process, ARM chips should deliver good yields on the silicon, keeping prices low while maintaining the higher power efficiency that comes with a lower process node.

      ARM's chips dominate the mobile device market, but unlike Intel, it doesn't have a brand presence on the end devices. Instead, companies license its designs, go to a manufacturer, and rebrand the chips under their own name. You may not have heard of ARM, but the Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia chips in mobile devices, as well as Calxeda and Marvell's server chips, are all based to some degree on based on ARM's low-power RISC-architecture processors.
      64-bit processors

      As part of the new deal, ARM is expecting to work with TSMC on 64-bit processors. It stressed how the 20nm process nodes provided by the fabber will make its server-targeted chips more efficient, potentially cutting datacentre electricity bills.

      "This collaboration brings two industry leaders together earlier than ever before to optimise our FinFET process with ARM's 64-bit processors and physical IP," Cliff Hou, vice president of research and development for TSMC, said in the statement. "We can successfully achieve targets for high speed, low voltage and low leakage."

      "We can successfully achieve targets for high speed, low voltage and low leakage" — Cliff Hou, TSMC
      However, ARM only released its 64-bit chips in October, putting these at least a year and a half away from production, as licensees tweak designs to fit their devices. Right now, there are few ARM-based efforts pitched at the enterprise, aside from HP's Redstone Server Development platform and a try-before-you-buy ARM-based cloud for the OpenStack software.
      Production processes

      AMD, like ARM, does not operate its own chip fabrication facilities and so must depend on the facilities of others. AMD uses GlobalFoundries, while ARM licensees have tended to use TSMC. However, both TSMC and GlobalFoundries are a bit behind Intel in terms of the level of detail — the process node — they can make their chips to.

      Right now, TSMC is still qualifying its 20nm process for certification by suppliers, while Intel has been shipping its 22nm Ivy Bridge processors for several months. Intel has claimed a product roadmap down to 14nm via use of its tri-gate 3D transistor technology, while TSMC is only saying in the ARM statement it will go beyond 20nm, without giving specifics.

      Even with this partnership, Intel looks set to maintain its lead in advanced silicon manufacturing.

      "By the time TSMC gets FinFET into production - earliest 2014, it's only just ramping 28nm [now] - Intel will be will into its 2nd generation FinFET buildout," Malcolm Penn, chief executive of semiconductor analysts Future Horizons, told ZDNet. This puts Intel "at least three years ahead of TSMC. Global Foundries will be even later."

      Intel has noticed ARM's rise and has begun producing its own low-power server chips under the Centerton codename. However, these chips consume 6W compared with ARM's 5W.

      At the time of writing, neither ARM nor TSMC had responded to requests for further information. Financial terms, if any, were not disclosed.

      • 2 Replies to singhlion2001
      • Singh, had to reach back to July 23 for that old piece of news. So, have we heard anything about any actual ARM or TSMC results relating to this two month old ARM marketing article?

        Nope, nothing. And Singh must have missed this statement in the article:

        This puts Intel "at least three years ahead of TSMC. Global Foundries will be even later."

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • Globalfoundries is speeding up the timeline for its 14nm process that will feature 3D transistors, looking to match Intel in both timing and architecture.

        Globalfoundries is making an aggressive move to challenge Intel in chip manufacturing, with officials announcing that the company will be ready by 2014 with a 14-nanometer process that will include a three-dimensional transistor architecture similar to Intel's Tri-Gate method.

        Globalfoundries' 14nm-XM (eXtreme Mobility) process will include a 3D FinFET transistor technology that will enable higher performance and greater power efficiency in mobile devices like smartphones. It also will come only a year after the foundry begins offering its 20nm process. If Globalfoundries can hit its target of 2014 for the 14nm-XM, it will leapfrog over other foundries like Tawain Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and dovetail with Intel's plans to roll out its 14nm chips that same year.

        The foundry's 14nm-XM architecture will include a combination of a 14nm FinFET device and Globalfoundries' 20nm low-power processes. Bringing together parts of varying size to create a new chip might seem odd, but it makes sense, according to Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

        "Globalfoundries' architecture might seem like a bit of a mishmash at first glance," Kay said in a Sept. 20 blog post of Forbes. "Putting different size features on different chip planes raises questions as to whether such a design can reap all the cost benefits of a fully 14nm part. For example, the 20nm planes will determine the size of the chip, which will affect both its cost and its power-savings. However, the smaller transistors will make the part more efficient than a 20nm-only unit would be, and the design choice meets all of Globalfoundries' objectives, and, I daresay, those of its customers."

        Those objectives include a fast time to market, reducing the risk of migrating from a 20nm manufacturing process to a 14nm one, and creating extremely low-power chips.

        "The 20nm process already ironed out by Globalfoundries is optimized for mobile systems on a chip (SoCs)," Kay wrote. "These chips are designed for smartphones that need to operate all day without recharging. This technology is preserved and carried forward in the 14XM."

        A key to these capabilities is the FinFET transistor architecture. Intel this year began offering its Tri-Gate transistor architecture in its 22nm Ivy Bridge processors. Intel engineers had been working on the 3D technology for 10 years before announcing it in 2011, with the hope of increasing the performance and power efficiency of its chips and enabling the company to gain traction in the highly competitive mobile device chip space, which is dominated by ARM Holdings.

        Like the FinFET design, Intel's Tri-Gate architecture essentially moves away from the flat, two-dimensional "planar" circuitry of previous designs and to a three-dimensional structure that enables a greater number of transistors in a similar space. Globalfoundries officials said Sept. 20 that the 14nm-XM FinFET process will bring a 40 to 60 percent increase in battery life to mobile devices, compared with current transistor architectures at 20nm.

        Other foundries also are moving in the same direction. ARM and TSMC in July announced a deal in which the two companies would work together to develop 64-bit ARM-designed chips that will feature TSMC's FinFET technology starting with 20nm chips. Globalfoundries and ARM in August announced a similar agreement to optimize ARM's SoC designs for FinFET processes. United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) also plans to use FinFETs starting at 20nm. However, neither TSMC nor UMC are expected to get to this point until 2014, giving Globalfoundries an edge.

        Globalfoundries was created in 2009 when Advanced Micro Devices spun off its manufacturing business. Now the foundry contracts with other "fab-less" chip vendors like AMD-which no longer has its own fabrication facilities-and ARM to build their products. The rapid growth in the sales of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices has put a premium on high performance and low cost in SoCs.

        "The transition from 20nm to 14nm represents an important inflection point, and at Globalfoundries we have introduced a new technology that takes full advantage of the latest advances in device architecture while keeping the bigger SoC product-level picture in view," CTO Gregg Bartlett wrote in a Sept. 20 blog post. "With our new 14nm-XM offering, we have accelerated our leading-edge road map to deliver a technology optimized for the fast-growing smart mobile computing market. 14nm-XM will give customers the performance and power benefits of three-dimensional 'FinFET' transistors with less risk and a faster time-to-market, helping the fabless ecosystem maintain its leadership in mobility while enabling a new generation of smart mobile devices."

        Endpoint Technologies' Kay said Globalfoundries had several advantages in being able to fast-track its development of the 14nm-XM process, including 10 years of work on the 3D transistor architecture that IBM undertook and gave to the Common Platform, a chip design group that includes Globalfoundries, IBM and Samsung Electronics. One benefit is being able to leverage the capabilities of high-K metal gate (HKMG) technology, which cuts down on the amount of electrical leakage as chips get smaller.

        "It was critical to master this technique, which Intel has had since 2007," Kay said. "It was only in 2010 that AMD was able to get HKMG up and running in its 32nm processors, which have both processing and graphics on the same piece of silicon."

        Development of the 14nm-XM technology already has begun in Globalfoundries' new Fab 8 in Saratoga County, N.Y., and the foundry is making early process design kits (PDKs) available now. Tape-outs by customers of the new SoCs are expected to happen next year, according to officials.

        While Globalfoundries' 14nm-XM technology will come out the same time as Intel's 14nm chips, the fact that they are SoCs aimed at mobile devices like tablets and smartphones plays to Globalfoundries' strengths, Endpoint Technologies' Kay said. Intel dominates the PC and server chip markets, but it still is trying to get some traction in mobile devices. Meanwhile, Globalfoundries, TSMC, ARM and others already have strong positions in the mobile device space.

        "Globalfoundries has come from way behind to nip at Intel's heels," Kay wrote. "The 14XM will hit the market in volume in mid-2014, right on top of Intel's 14nm processors. And Globalfoundries and its customers have the pole position in high mobility, offering an ultra-low power mobile SoC with a whole ecosystem around it rather than just a processor. … A race that had almost gotten boring is suddenly exciting again."

    • Demand is going to be in ASIA next......

      Intel has to compete with ASIAN FOUNDRY GIANTS in the future.....LOL

      USA Zombies/EU going in hibernation in 2013 as Economies collapse in hell with RIOTS

      US$ demise is waiting in the wings too..............

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