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[April 20, 2014]
Abu Dhabi chips in with Samsung [National, The (United Arab Emirates)]
(National, The (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) An Abu Dhabi-owned microchip maker is to produce the fastest, most energy-efficient semiconductors that will enable the next generation of mobile devices, after a deal with Samsung.
GlobalFoundries, wholly owned by Mubadala's Advanced Technology Investment Company, and the Korean smartphone and TV manufacturer yesterday announced a partnership to mass produce the chips by the end of year.
The process, developed by Samsung and licensed to GlobalFoundries, utilises a three-dimensional design and results in chips that are 20 per cent faster, 35 per cent more efficient and 15 per cent smaller than those produced with the current industry standard "20nm planar" platform.
Media reports last year said that Samsung would provide the processor for Apple's iPhone 7, due in 2015, using 14 nanometre technology.
Rival Intel had seemingly been ahead in the development of this technology but the gap has narrowed after Samsung invested billions in research and development and facilities development over the past two years.
"The industry's most advanced 14nm Finfet technology will be available ... with volume production at Samsung's fabs in Hwaseong, Korea and Austin, Texas, as well as GlobalFoundries fab in Saratoga, New York," a joint statement from the companies said. A human hair is 75,000nm in width.
According to the Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the number of transistors that can be placed on a chip at the same cost will double about every two years. This is known as Moore's Law and so far this has roughly been the case in the decades since the idea was proposed.
GlobalFoundries is the world's second-largest foundry after Taiwan's TSMC.
"Today's announcement is further proof of the importance of collaboration to enable continued innovation in semiconductor manufacturing," said GlobalFoundries chief executive Sanjay Jha.
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