The rise of semiconductors ubiquitous GF
We're getting closer to 2022, and silicon is more strategic than ever, and honestly, probably more . We have seen the PC-centric era give way to the smartphone-centric era, PCs are showing their inherent value during Covid-19 and now we are entering an era where everything will be connected. Chips are running the show, from next-generation vehicles and wind turbines to the new “smart” toaster oven on your kitchen counter.
Moreover, this connected world has new, more specific technical requirements for its silicon in terms of power management, on-board memory, photonics and RF / analog. Companies like Apple, Amazon Web Services, and IBM are building custom siliconfor those more "fit for purpose" use cases, seeking a competitive advantage in emerging environments.
For industries transformed by this change, being late to the party can be costly. If you have tried to buy or lease a car in the past year or so, you have first felt the consequences of the failure of auto makers to establish the right relationship with chipmakers and factories. Chip shortages have stalled production at auto factories, with some believing that the prices "of the resulting cars could remain astronomical until 2023 . The shortage does not concern advanced products which represent only 25% of the world chip manufacturing, but rather specialty silicon or peak which accounts for 75% of the total volume. On the positive side, it is un great time to be a chipmaker!
Did I mention that silicon is strategic?
Amid this shift in the industry, GlobalFoundries today hosted its annual Tech Summit, unveiling a host of new silicon features t securing fast growing segments such as IoT, mobile devices, automotive, communications and data center infrastructure. Additionally, the company unveiled an important new partnership with Qualcomm. In recent years, the company has shifted from researching a cutting edge process to delivering the differentiated silicon that our increasingly connected world demands (see previous summit coverage here and here for a more strategic context). Let's dive into alls the news and how it fits into GlobalFoundries 'foresight strategy.
New application-specific features pave the way for innovation
GlobalFoundries sees itself as the maker of solutions that 'answer no only to the demands of today but also for the future ", according to Juan Cordovez, Senior VP of Sales. It is estimated that 73% of the foundry's revenue comes from this new semiconductor frontier. At the same time, the industry as a whole is directing most of its spending towards traditional semiconductor use cases and the development of newer, larger and smaller nodes. GlobalFoundries made a strong argument at the summit to focus less on node size and davantage on the innovations specific to the resulting applications. This argument is valid and correct. And when it comes to innovations, there were a lot of them. GlobalFoundries is the only chipmaker that publicly and loudly emphasizes the unique needs of certain markets and appreciates the efforts and education of the ecosystem.
In the mobile realm, GlobalFoundries announced several new 5G and 6/6 Wi-Fi features. The company's below 6GHz RF-SOI offerings will now deliver a more powerful and reliable 5G connection, providing coverage with fewer “dead zones” and more time on a single charge. Meanwhile, its FDX-RF products promise to improve connections for mmWave 5G devices, with a new fully integrated power amplifier with turnkey mmWave testing capability. The company's Wi-Fi offerings also received an upgrade, with new RF capabilities andPAs that promise more robust connectivity and wider coverage for Wi-Fi enabled devices.
We've also learned that the company's mobile display offerings now support variable refresh on OLED displays, which means devices run with fast, rip-proof refresh rates for gaming or, alternatively, slower refresh rates to save battery life.
GlobalFoundries mobile audio solutions have acquired a non-volatile memory option, which the company says will allow audio amp designers to deliver "more realistic sound quality" with less noise and distortion. Finally, for mobiles, GF reported that its smartphone camera imaging solutions now support stacked CMOS image sensors with over 200 megapixel resolution, high dynamic range, slow motion and udo better energy efficiency. Think what this means for future smartphones, security cameras and optical sensors for cars.
By the way, I love how GF communicates its benefits to the experience of the car. final user. This makes it more relevant to more audiences and it's true, still a good match.
The most important data center information shared at the summit was that GlobalFoundries' 45nm silicon photonics platform is on schedule for a full technology qualification by now. first quarter of 2022. The platform is revolutionary in that it features the very first optical ring resonator (MRR) component in the history of 300mm wafer technology and the fact that it includes both optical components and an RF CMOS on one piece of silicon. I would say silicon photonics is GF 's biggest secret and I analyzedGF's silicon photonics game here .
Globe lFoundries also took the opportunity to rightly brag about its line of FDX IoT solutions, which the company says has brought in more than $ 7.5 billion in design earnings in the world. Additionally, the company announced that a new PDK 22FDX + coming later this year will include new micro-display solutions to support smaller, lighter, and more power-efficient AR glasses. FDX appears to be a winner and it's interesting to see both Samsung and TSMC trying to emulate it.
Finally, in automotive, GlobalFoundries shared that their 22FDX platform is officially Auto Grade 1 Ready at the company 's factory in Dresden, Germany. You can't just insert standard silicon inside cars because it requires a level of reliability and reliability.higher curity. Along with this, the company said it is investing $ 1 billion in Fab 1 in Dresden and an additional $ 5 billion to expand its automotive capacity worldwide. GF is establishing more strategic relationships with automakers and they see that they need direct relationships with factories. A good recent example of this alignment was between GF and Bosch on mmWave radar capabilities. You can see the analysis here .
Partnership A crucial part of GlobalFoundries' efforts to deliver feature-rich, application-specific silicon is its commitment and openness to innovate alongside On this note, the company announced that it has signed a new and expanded partnership with Qualcomm. Together, the companies will jointly develop solutions fAdvanced multi-gigabit 5G RF interfaces designed to adapt to the sleek form factors consumers expect from their mobile devices. This is the biggest public testimony I have seen from Qualcomm for GF and also indicates the growth of Qualcomm's RFFE mobile business as it needs more quality capacity.
The new features are less in the news than the newer, bigger and smaller process. es when it comes to innovation in semiconductors. It is a sad reality which is skewed compared to reality. About 25% of the market is state-of-the-art and 75% are advanced or specialized processes, so the focus is reversed to reality.
At the Tech Summit, however , GlobalFoundries reminded that there is more to do. silicon as the geometry of the nodes. It's what you can do with these knots that matters. TheSemiconductors are the key to our connected future and will only become more prevalent in the years to come. GlobalFoundries is focused on accelerating this paradigm shift, ensuring that these chips have the specific attributes they need to support IoT, next generation mobile devices, automotive and all devices connected in between.