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GlobalFoundries denies problems with 14nm: everything is as planned

GlobalFoundries, the world’s second largest contract manufacturer of chips, late on Tuesday denied existence of problems with the ramp up of production using 14nm fabrication process. According to the foundry, it specifically stockpiles manufacturing equipment at a warehouse so that to install it once the fab 8 facility becomes compatible with new tools.

On Tuesday it was reported that GlobalFoundries stopped installation of new equipment needed to start manufacturing of chips using 14nm FinFET manufacturing technology the company licensed from Samsung Electronics. Market analysts believed that slowdowns with installations will result in delayed starts of mass production. However, GlobalFoundries claims that everything is on-track.

“Our 14nm plan has not changed,” said Jason Gorss, a spokesperson for GlobalFoundries. “A key part of the strategy is to order tools ahead of facility readiness to enable the fastest possible ramp. Due to the large number of tools coming in, we have our vendors stage these tools at a nearby warehouse to facilitate a fast install. This logistical move is in no way related to yield challenges or a delay in our technology ramp and is, in fact, quite the opposite. Our Fab 8 ramp is on track and we have yielding customer product on our 14nm technology.”

GlobalFoundries' fab 8 manufacturing facility

Earlier this month GlobalFoundries announced that it would start mass production of chips using 14nm LPE (low-power early) manufacturing process in the first half of 2015.

Even though GlobalFoundries denies it has any yield issues with the 14nm production technology, it should be noted that all makers of chips ran into problems with FinFET fabrication processes. Even Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of microprocessors, had to delay introduction of its code-named “Broadwell” processors made using 14nm tech by about a year because of yields.

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KitGuru Says: When it comes to 14nm FinFET production process, GlobalFoundries and Samsung Electronics need to offer a viable alternative to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. when it comes to available capacities and yields. Hopefully, the companies will succeed. This will naturally be better for everyone on the market.

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