Samsung, Globalfoundries ink deal to challenge TSMC

Globalfoundries has agreed to license Samsung's (SSNLF) most advanced chipmaking technology, 14-nanometer FinFET, in a co-operation deal that analyst Jim McGregor says poses "a huge competitive threat" to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM), which controls around half of the $38.9B chip-foundry sector.

The collaboration could also make it more difficult for Intel (INTC) to gain a strong position in the foundry business, McGregor says.

The tie-up "provides an alternative to those companies that are looking to use leading-edge production." That could affect chip designers such as Qualcomm (QCOM).

Comments (14)
  • toonies
    , contributor
    Comments (447) | Send Message
    More here
    18 Apr 2014, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • markitos
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
    Thanks for the link. According to Kelvin Low, senior director of marketing at Samsung: "Samsung is already running 14nm products in its fab in Korea. The 14nm LPE, for example, was qualified earlier this year. "


    “We are already in silicon validation of our lead customer products. We expect to ramp production by the end of this year,” he said. Design activities started almost three years ago. “Right now, we are seeing a lot more pickup overall by the lead adopters and even other customers following suit, mainly because the marketplace does see that the 14nm FinFET is at the right maturity level for volume production,” Low said.


    In my humble opinion it is as likely to happen as if I will become astronaut.
    18 Apr 2014, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • vector_us
    , contributor
    Comments (622) | Send Message
    Wow! If they pull off volume production by early next year then this would be a big blow for Intel!
    18 Apr 2014, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (2578) | Send Message
    Intel's response: they sunk my battleship!
    19 Apr 2014, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • vector_us
    , contributor
    Comments (622) | Send Message
    And A bigger blow to TSMC!
    18 Apr 2014, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • rko2000
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
    TSMC just reported a stellar Q1 result, and even better guidance for Q2.


    TSMC forecasts 22 percent Q2 growth - Taipei Times


    Its 16nm FinFET, equivalent or better than Samsung's 14nm, has the first tape-out, and evolved to the second generation, called 16FF Plus. Volume production is expected in Q1 2015, with the likelihood of moving up to 4Q14.


    Apple moved most of its A8 processor production to TSMC's 20nm node.


    I see little negative on TSMC, whose outlook is far better than the foundry business of Intel or Samsung. TSM stock prices reached new high's.
    18 Apr 2014, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Maciej Kedzierski
    , contributor
    Comments (35) | Send Message
    After what happened to Apple I don't see how any other major company agrees to give Samsung a peak at their IP or their strategic plans. But who knows... Maybe this is exactly why Samsung did this- cause they couldn't get any more business directly because no one will trust them.
    18 Apr 2014, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1902) | Send Message
    I do not know what Samsung did to Apple specifically in terms of being a supplier. What I do know is that as a business, Samsung generally offers to produce other manufacturer's low margin parts "to save them money". Then Samsung pulls a Lockheed and delays shipment before giving a substandard delivery. The result is in a faulty product that damages the reputation of Samsung's customers. In the process, Samsung perfects production of those parts and a year later releases their own product to compete with their now-tarnished customer.


    Anybody who trusts Samsung is a fool. Samsung is a disgrace to the tech industry, consumer electronics industry, and above all else, to the nation of South Korea.
    19 Apr 2014, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • markitos
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
    Yesterday TSMC told us that they most likely will move right to 16-FinFET Plus because it is better than 16-FinFET without Plus. Here what Mark Liu said during CC:


    "16-FinFET plus will be qualified in September but remember we and our customer work on 16-FinFET design on 16-FinFET, okay. So the customer for those customers when the product tape-out for example we have a first product tape-out this month, it will right on 16-FinFET processes and mostly I will say mostly will be right on the 16-FinFET plus. So I will think majority of our proud customer will run on 16-FinFET plus. And looking into the volume and for the next year I will say most of the product will be running on 16-FinFET plus. Thank you."
    "The 20 nanometer SoC is not a transition. We have worked with our customer already come out with a very powerful products and in the ramping up. So and these customer sum on them indeed will quickly transition to 16-FinFET plus. However still some other product will stay on 20 SoC on for a long time, not every product require the highest speed for example. But the key is we manage this transition by the two commonality between 20 and 16 are 95%. So when the customer move from 20 SoC to 16-FinFET plus we own marginal amount of the capital to suffice that demand. Of course ASP and the product will be more competitive for our customer. So that’s how we, so we consider 20 SoC CapEx wise as one note but it does provide our customer their product grade or product spec be continually improve year-after-year."


    So, TSMC is saying no to 16-FinFET and will qualify 16-FinFET plus in September. However, CEO said, 16-FinFET will tape-out this months and "our" customer work on 16-FinFET design. Since Mr. Liu believe that it will be no starter, why bother? There are no tape-out for 16-FinFETplus and obviously no customer designs are available. And then, oh!!! miracle of miracles :" the two [have]commonality between 20 and 16 are 95% ". In other words 20 nm planner transistor and 16 nm 3D transistor have 95% in common. You have to be a space cadet to believe in that BS. 2015 Q1 mass production for 16-FinFET is even less likely than a farm pig will become an astronaut.
    18 Apr 2014, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • rko2000
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
    Yep, yep, TSMC has so many problems and BS, to continue to deliver doubt digit growth quarter after quarter, year after year, to the point that the Wall Street capitals own the majority of TSMC stock shares and most production contracts from the silicon valley went to TSMC.


    Everyone are so stupid and don't understand TSMC is full of BS.


    The CEO clearly stated 14 tape-out's of 16FF this year, 25 next year, most will be on the 16FF plus.


    It is futile excise to pick on the wording from a poor transcript, which incorrectly use 60nm as 16nm among many other errors, perhaps due to the heavy accents.
    18 Apr 2014, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • rko2000
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
    The following is a better summary from TSMC conference call of April 17.


    April 18
    TSMC reveals new 16nm FinFET+ process, vows to start 10nm production in Q4 2015 | KitGuru


    "Products manufactured using 16nm FinFET+ will offer up to 40 per cent speed improvement over chips made using 20nm technology."


    "Design rules of 16nm FinFET and 16nm FinFET+ are the same, everything is largely compatible. In general, 16nm FinFET designs can easily be produced on the 16nm FinFET+ node with minimal changes (if needed). The process will be fully qualified by September. According to TSMC, its fabs are 95 per cent ready to produce chips using 16nm FinFET+. It should be noted that 20nm manufacturing capacities that are online now and which are scheduled to be online this year are 95 per cent ready to produce chips using 16nm FinFET, so expect TSMC to be able to ramp up volume production using both 16nm FinFET and 16nm FinFET+ very quickly."


    "First fifteen 16nm FinFET+ tape-outs are planned for 2014, another 45 are scheduled for 2015.


    "Based on TSMC’s predictions, its 10nm FinFET will offer over 25 per cent clock-rate improvement over the 16nm FinFET+ at the same power, it is expected to be 45 per cent more energy efficient and it is predicted to provide 2.2 times higher density over 16nm FinFET+. Currently 10nm FinFET development is in progress, the risk production is on-track to start in Q4 2015."

    18 Apr 2014, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (6187) | Send Message
    I always have to chuckle when I see Mr. Liu's statements. His doublespeak is doubleplusgood.
    22 Apr 2014, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Buzz
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
    The success in foundry is not only in technology, but operation efficiency and cost as well as quality control, among many other things. Samsung's license does not guarantee Globle foundries' sucess.
    19 Apr 2014, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • techy46
    , contributor
    Comments (12622) | Send Message
    So this puts everyone on the trailing edge with Samsung's 14nm FF, whatever that really is, about 12-18 months behind and allows Intel to proceed with 14nm 3D with dual OS compatibility. I doubt Intel really cares about foundry wins or not. They key to all this will be Android and Windows on commodity devices at 14nm and beyond. Does Samsung keep pushing move to Tizen OS?

    19 Apr 2014, 11:30 AM Reply Like
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