Deal allows IBM to focus on research, GlobalFoundries to produce IBM server chips
IBM is getting out of the chip manufacturing, with the company transferring the bulk of its semiconductor business to GlobalFoundries. However, rather than IBM getting a large cash influx from selling the chip division, the company is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years in cash and capital to take the commercial semiconductor business.
Small-scale production to take place at New York factory
Samsung and Globalfoundries are planning small-scale production of 14nm chips at a New York plant in early 2015, says Digitimes. The firms have reportedly landed deals with two major clients, Apple and Qualcomm. In particular, it's believed that Samsung is aiming to build A9 processors for Apple, but two other companies -- Intel and TSMC -- are also said to be competing for orders.
Apple allegedly aiming at 65 million iWatches by end of year
The Apple iWatch will ship in the third quarter of the year and be manufactured by Quanta Computer, claims Taiwan's Economic Daily News, as quoted by Digitimes. Two other companies, Richtek and TPK, will reportedly be supplying chips and sapphire touch panels. The watch's processor is expected to be developed by Apple, but manufactured by Samsung, which currently handles all iOS processor production. Apple is said to be aiming at having 65 million iWatches assembled by the end of 2014.
Samsung not being substituted
The involvement of GlobalFoundries in production of Apple's A-series chips likely has the company serving as "flex capacity" for Samsung, new sources affirm. Under that arrangement, Samsung is expected to pay for use of GlobalFoundries' Malta plant to boost A-series production when the Samsung facility in Austin, Texas is under strain. Although the Austin factory is dedicated mostly to Apple chips, it also helps produce chips for Samsung's own devices; there are, therefore, times when a second plant might be needed to satisfy dual demands.
Samsung will allegedly help start production
GlobalFoundries is preparing to manufacture Apple A-series processors at its "Fab 8" plant in Malta, New York, a source tells local publication the Times Union. At present, every A-series chip is produced by Samsung at a factory in Austin, Texas. The source indicates that Samsung will help GlobalFoundries get started with the new project, but it's unknown if GlobalFoundries is being contracted by Samsung or directly by Apple.
GlobalFoundries now truly independent
GlobalFoundries picked Monday to say it had bought out AMD's remaining stake in its manufacturing. The mutually agreed deal now puts the chip production firm entirely in the control of Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), the company that had originally orchestrated the split. GlobalFoundries could now act independently and wouldn't be bound to making AMD processor, although there were no immediate intentions to stop.
AMD hints openness to ARM
AMD in conversations at the end of the week wouldn't discount the possibility of making ARM-based processors. When pressed by Wired, CTO and former Apple executive Mark Papermaster made the unusual non-denial that "the answer is not no." The company's long-term plans were aiming for a modular chip design that could drop in ARM or another architecture without losing Radeon graphics or other AMD-specific touches.
Company's 32nm yields still low
AMD has revised its third-quarter forecasts, warning investors that revenues and gross margins are expected to fall below original forecasts. The company initially estimated revenue growth of 10 percent, however the numbers are now expected to fall between four and six percent growth due to manufacturing problems.
AMD will only pay for working chips, not defects
AMD has reportedly tweaked the supply agreements with its spin-off fabrication company, GlobalFoundries. The new terms are said to be focused on improving production quality, after the manufacturer encountered difficulties with its 32-nanometer chips. AMD now will pay only for working chips, rather than covering for defective components removed from production runs.
Negotiations said to be in final stages
Toshiba is reportedly finalizing an outsourcing agreement that will move a portion of the company's chip fabrication to AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries. In an interview with the Japanese paper Nikkei, GlobalFoundries CEO Doug Grose noted that both of the companies are currently in the late stages of negotiating terms for the collaboration.
32nm process producing lower-than-expected yields
AMD is reportedly delaying the production of its Fusion Llano processors, which were originally expected to arrive sometime in the first half of 2011. The delays have been blamed on manufacturing issues, as GlobalFoundries has experienced lower-than-expected yields for its 32nm process required to build the chips, sources have told DigiTimes.
GlobalFoundries Fab 2
GlobalFoundries on Friday began building a new factory dedicated to making more advanced processors. The Saratoga County, New York-based Fab 2 plant is due to be completely ready by 2012 and will make processors on processes current by the time the factory opens. Initial chips will be made using a 28 nanometer (nm) process and should shrink quickly to 22nm once its production is completely ready. The plant should be ready on a basic level by 2011 and could start its earliest production ahead of time.
Toshiba 28nm Deal Extends
Toshiba and NEC together said today that they would extend their agreement with IBM to produce 28 nanometer chip technology. The deal sees the members of the larger alliance continuing to work on the smaller, more efficient technology with the intention of using it for home user products. They now also say they expected 28nm to be particularly useful for "mobile communication devices" such as smartphones.
AMD refocuses resources
AMD late Wednesday announced intentions to move to a new operating model, in an effort to refocus resources on its struggling businesses. The announcement follows several other shifts in AMD's focus, specifically trying to improve integration between microprocessor and graphic processor development. The announced operating model organizes AMD into four operating teams: products, technology, marketing, and customers.
IBM intros 28nm chips
IBM announced on Thursday that it, along with partners Chartered Semiconductor, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics, are jointly developing a 28-nanometer low-power, high-k metal gate (HKMG) bulk complementary metal oxide (CMOS) semiconductor for use in future processors. The technology would be used in mobile and consumer electronics devices such as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), where it would extend battery life. The 28nm chips would reportedly provide a 40 percent performance gain and more than a 20 percent power decrease compared to 45nm technology in a chip that's about half the size.
Intel May Cut AMD License
Intel today escalated confrontations between itself and competitors by telling AMD that it would eliminate the cross-licensing deal that grants AMD permission to use Intel patents for building x86-compatible processors. AMD is accused by Intel of having violated a 2001 license by having spun off its factories as GlobalFoundries and farmed out manufacturing of AMD's chips, including the Athlon, Phenom and Opteron lines, to the new company. Intel is asking AMD to resolve the problem within 60 days, which may include renegotiating a new license.
The recently approved spin-off of chipmaker AMD's manufacturing operations, in partnership with Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC), an Abu Dhabi investment fund, has officially been launched on Wednesday. What is being called as the world's first global semiconductor foundry company, GlobalFoundries will initially employ 2,800 employees worldwide, with its headquarters based in the San Francisco Bay area.