Monday, June 2nd 2014

Samsung 14 nm FinFET Process Technology Ecosystem Solidly in Place

Stating that not all FinFETs are created equal, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that the IP and design enablement ecosystem for its foundry's 14nm FinFET process technology is firmly in place as customers begin their early design work. Highlighting this fact, Samsung will be demonstrating a 14nm FinFET system-on-chip (SoC) reference board at the 51st Annual Design Automation Conference.

"To ease customers design risks moving to 14nm FinFET, we need to have all the elements of the design ecosystem optimized well in advance," said Dr. Shawn Han, vice president of foundry marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We are pleased to work with the industry's leading IP and design enablement companies. Our early work at this advanced node will allow our customers to bring their next-generation SoCs to the market quickly while taking full advantage of the benefits of our 14nm FinFET technology." Samsung's foundry offering has focused its 14nm FinFET ecosystem efforts with key IP partners. Collaboration specifically around optimal Fin-based design infrastructure and early FinFET IP development has resulted in foundation libraries and advanced IP suite. On the enablement side, Samsung, with its EDA partners, has worked to optimize 3D device modeling, extraction solutions, and design verification as well as Design for Manufacturing (DFM) solutions. The result of which is the 14nm FinFET reference board that will be on display at DAC 2014.

ARM Artisan physical IP for Samsung's 14nm FinFET process technology is now available for SoC designers and is the result of years of collaboration between ARM and Samsung. This partnership to develop foundation IP began with 45nm technology, leading to 32/28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG). This long-term collaboration has resulted in an optimized physical IP solution that provides greatly improved performance, lower leakage, and superior dynamic power characteristics. When used with the ARM Cortex processors, this foundation IP enables a new generation of leading-edge, energy-efficient products for a wide range of markets that extends from mobile computing to new and emerging markets.

Through tight collaboration with Cadence, Samsung offers a full RTL-to-signoff flow that is power-, performance- and area-optimized for the 14nm FinFET process. This flow has been used to implement multiple early tapeouts on the process, including the first announced ARM processor tapeout in December 2012. Cadence provides a complete methodology for custom and digital design, place-and-route, extraction, timing, physical verification and DFM, including support for the Cadence Virtuoso and Encounter platforms through SKILL-based PDKs, EDI System and QRC extraction tech files and Physical Verification System rule decks.

Mentor is supporting Samsung's 14nm FinFET process technology with its Manufacturing Analysis and Scoring (MAS) deck, which prioritizes different DFM effects and makes recommendations on how to modify the design. Sign-off enabling for 14nm FinFET process technology also includes decks for design rule checking with double patterning and pattern matching-based verification, layout vs. schematic checking, lithography friendly design, and DFM with advanced fill.

The entire Synopsys Galaxy Design Platform is broadly supported on Samsung's 14nm FinFET process, for design tasks ranging from custom design through final place-and-route and signoff of complex SoCs. The Galaxy Design Platform tools, Samsung Foundry 14nm FinFET PDKs and associated tool usage have been tuned to deliver optimal results for SoC designers targeting the power and performance benefits of FinFET technology. Synopsys and Samsung have also proven the process, tool capabilities and IP in silicon via a series of complex SoCs which included both high performance processors and Synopsys-developed IP, including the recently certified DesignWare USB 3.0 femtoPHY.

Silicon-based PDK Availability
With process design kit of 14nm FinFET process technology available to customers today, customers can start designing with silicon-based SPICE models, extraction decks, design rule manuals and technology files that have been developed based on silicon results from 14nm FinFET test chips run in Samsung's state of art 300mm fabs. The PDK includes router tech files and other design enablement features to support the new 3-dimensional FinFET device structures, middle of line (MOL), and double patterning enablement used in the back end of line (BEOL) process. The investments that Samsung is making into the entire ecosystem at 14nm will give customers early access to all elements of the design infrastructure to accelerate their chip development.
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8 Comments on Samsung 14 nm FinFET Process Technology Ecosystem Solidly in Place

#1
tehehe
Wait a minute, is this real competition to the Intel fabs? Will Samsung license tech or will it allow producing stuff in their own fabs?
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#2
theoneandonlymrk
They are doing both afaik opening up fab time to external customers and they are as it states working with partners , one of which is global foundries though Gf only announced that recently so I doubt much has occurred , , interesting news though.
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#3
tehehe
Can it be used to make GPUs? 14nm GPUs :eek:
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#4
renz496
by: tehehe
Can it be used to make GPUs? 14nm GPUs :eek:
So far the article only mention about SoC. even for TSMC they usually have different process for SoC and more complex silicon like gpu. and it seems only TSMC have the experience making complex silicon like gpu. There are rumors about nvidia considering to use samsung fab in the past but if i remember correctly that was for their tegra and not for their gpu.
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#5
theoneandonlymrk
With a lot more development gpu's will get to 14nm but I think its the realities of die size that make it more a high asic count (small die ) node at Samsung plus
They likely already had arm artisan ip in samsungs own chips 3x arm in my ssd's
High yield(always hopefully ) low size massive chip count thats samys 14nm use profile atm but im thinking an apu would not be too tricky either
Its likely very costly still
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#6
Nabarun
What about SSD? Are we gonna get 16nm versions of the 840 Evo, given Crucial has launched the MX100?
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#7
theoneandonlymrk
Can't remember what atm but they definitely make some types of memory there already.
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#8
alwayssts
by: tehehe
Can it be used to make GPUs? 14nm GPUs :eek:
Yes.

There certainly remains the question of performance and TTM versus tsmc, though. Unlike AMD's APUs, which will undoubtedly be made at GF using this exact tech (that Samsung is licensing for their larger-scale production), gpus are a more tricky question. They have to keep a strict cadence and parity with nvidia, whom will likely continue to use TSMC (because paranoid as ffuuu). There would have to be distinct advantages. Wither that means price, performance, time to market versus the competition, or simply a more cost-effective design for the particular market a certain chip (perhaps a mid-range refresh post tsmc 16nm as higher-end parts go to 16ff+?) would be aiming.
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