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  • TSMC vs GlobalFoundries IBM Samsung

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    GlobalFoundries has brought the Common Platform Alliance back from the dead!?!?!?! Good thing too as it is probably their most comprehensive weapon against TSMC and answers the single biggest question customers have at 28nm and that is; Will there be enough CAPACITY?

    The Common Platform technology alliance hosted its first-ever Technology Forum on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at the Santa Clara Convention center. I was there, the food was pretty good. No airline box lunch, this was a regular three course sit down meal.
    The mission statement back then was:

    IBM, Chartered and Samsung Electronics have broken new ground in the semiconductor industry with a unique collaboration focused on leading-edge, jointly developed digital CMOS process technologies and advanced manufacturing. The Common Platform model is further supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners from the EDA, IP and design services industries. This ecosystem allows foundry customers to source their chip designs to multiple 300mm foundries with minimal design work, unprecedented flexibility and choice. The Common Platform model features 90nm, 65nm, 45nm and 32nm technologies.
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    Unfortunately it did NOT quite happen that way. The ONLY reason why fabless semiconductor companies were able to manufacture the same design in second (UMC), third (Chartered Semiconductor), and fourth (SMIC) source fabs at 130nm, 90nm, 65nm, and 40nm is because they all were “compatible” with TSMC. Artisan Components (ARM) enabled this wave of multisourcing by porting the physical IP they developed for TSMC to the other fabs.

    Here is the Common Platform mission statement for 2011:

    IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES are members of the Common Platform alliance focusing on leading-edge, jointly developed digital CMOS process technologies and advanced manufacturing. The Common Platform model is further supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners from the EDA, IP and design services industries. This ecosystem allows foundry customers to source their chip designs to multiple 300mm foundries with minimal design work, unprecedented flexibility and choice.
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    If in fact Common Platform can enable this 2nd and 3rd sourcing at 28nm and below it will give the top fabless semiconductor companies the perceived capacity they need to be successful. Samsung is the capacity wild card here and is really the only company strong enough in capitol AND technology to challenge TSMC, so this is a big fat hairy deal.

    You can register for the Common Platform Technology Forum here. I would register quickly as the 2,000 seats will sell out well before the doors open. Here is the formal invite:
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    Tomorrow’s Technology – Delivered Today
    The Common Platform Alliance of IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES invites you join us at our technology forum on Tuesday, January 18. This free, daylong event will feature the Common Platform’s innovative collaboration to deliver industry-leading technology that breaks new ground in performance and power efficiency for the 32/28nm technology nodes and beyond.
    The technology forum features keynotes from industry leaders and presentations from senior members of the Common Platform partners. Topics include:

    • Technical advancements of the innovative 32/28nm low-power high-k metal gate (HKMG) process technology optimized for the next generation of communications and smart mobile devices
    • Technology innovations in SoC enablement solutions, materials science, process technology and manufacturing
    • Proven design and manufacturing solutions from the alliance and its ecosystem partners
    • The invention process and technology roadmap to 20nm and beyond

    A key part of the forum will focus on collaboration for technology delivery, highlighting the rich and broad ecosystem of design enablement and implementation partners through a Partner Pavilion featuring leading EDA, IP, library, mask, back-end and design services companies.
    Mark your calendar for this complementary one-day technical event!
    This is a special advance invitation. Please register early as seating is limited.
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    Common Platform Alliance
    www.commonplatform.com