Electronics and Semiconductors

New 12-nm FinFET Technology for High-Performance Applications

23 September 2017

Source: Global FoundatiesSource: Global Foundaties

A new 12-nm leading-performance (12 LP) FinFET (fin field-effect transistor) semiconductor manufacturing process is being introduced by Global Foundaries (GF). The technology is expected to deliver better density and a performance boost over the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s current-generation 14-nm FinFET offering, satisfying the processing needs of the most demanding compute-intensive applications from artificial intelligence and virtual reality to high-end smartphones and networking infrastructure.

The new 12 LP technology provides as much as a 15 percent improvement in circuit density and more than a 10 percent improvement in performance over 16/14 nm FinFET solutions currently available. This positions 12 LP to be fully competitive with other 12-nm FinFET foundry offerings. The technology leverages GF's expertise at Fab 8 in Saratoga County, N.Y., where its 14-nm FinFET platform has been in high-volume production since early 2016.

In addition to transistor-level enhancements, the 12 LP platform will include new market-focused features specifically designed for automotive electronics and RF/analog applications—two of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.

• Emerging automotive applications in vehicle safety and automated driving require a combination of processing power and extreme reliability. The 12 LP platform delivers both, with plans for Automotive Grade 2 qualification at Fab 8 by Q4 2017.

• A new RF offering extends the 12 LP platform for RF/analog applications such as premium-tier transceivers in sub-6 GHz wireless networks. 12 LP offers the best scaling in both logic and memory for RF chip architectures with primarily digital and less RF/analog content.

GF's new 12 nm-FinFET technology complements its existing 12-nm FD-SOI offering, 12FDXTM. While some applications require the unsurpassed performance of FinFET transistors, many connected devices need high levels of integration and more flexibility for performance and power consumption, at costs FinFET cannot achieve. 12FDX provides an alternative path for the next generation of connected intelligent systems, enabling the performance of 10-nm FinFET with better power consumption, lower cost and better RF integration than current-generation foundry FinFET offerings.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com

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