GLOBAL FOUNDRIES announced the new 7nm manufacturing technology which promises 40% boost and 60% power consumption reduction for the new generations of processor that will hit the market. Also marketed as 7LP the new technology is based on 3D FinFET transistor architecture and optical lithography with EUV compatibility at key levels. This could be the next big thing as it could mean a huge leap for the semiconductor industry.

 3D FinFET transistor architecture
3D FinFET transistor architecture

This new manufacturing process will enable the rapid growth of the industry. I am not speaking only about the electronic industry, which will benefit most of this this new improved manufacturing process, but a lot more industries which depend on these components like:

  • Cloud / Data Center servers
  • CPU and GPU for VR
  • High-end mobile processors
  • Wired and wireless networking
  • Automotive ADAS
  • AI – DNN/CNN

This explains quite a lot of the events happening right now. No wonder that Intel is planning to go for multi core processor development and announced their new Intel Core-i9 7980XE 18 core processor. We probably will see a lot happen in this year and the coming year. It seems that Moore’s law is still valid.

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Launch date and availability

The new chipsets with 7nm FinFET manufacturing technology will be produced in the new Fab 8 plant. Actually this was built in Malta, New York, using conventional optical lithography technology.While the company decision to skip 10nm means that it will not be able to use 10nm as a stepping-stone to 7 nm technology, it says that it has gained a lot of experience with FinFETs from the 14LPE and the 14LPP processes.

Afterwards the mass production will start with the help of the state of the art EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) equipment. These will replace the visible light with radiation from the ultraviolet spectrum. We will see probably the first products exiting the production line in the second quarter of 2018. GlobalFoundries will use its 7 nm production process to produce high-performance components, such as CPUs, GPUs and SoCs for various applications (mobile, PC, servers, etc.). In general, it means that a number of future products from AMD could come from GlobalFoundries’ 7 nm fabrication tech.

Finally it is only a matter of time to see the benefits of the new technology

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