STMicroelectronics expects to put its first 20nm process into production at its Crolles fab in France by the end of 2012 after completing a programme to catch up on internally produced processes with the major foundry suppliers.
Although the company expects to increase the amount of production that it outsources to foundry from its current level of 15 per cent to 20 per cent long-term, ST decided recently to put more investment into Crolles in a bid to quickly move to parity with the processes supplied by the major foundries and to be able to build its own derivative processes, such as the recently announced 32LPH process which uses a high-k metal-gate transistor structure.
Jean-Marc Chery, CTO of ST told analysts at the company’s annual Field Trip: “I am confident we will be able to to tape out in our 20nm low-power process the first product by Q4, 2012. This will gain more 30 per cent performance and a 2x shrink factor [over the previous process technology].”
Chery said the company is prototyping with its 32nm process and expects delivery of its first production immersion scanner next week so that production can ramp up in the third quarter of next year. This process ramp will follow just one quarter after the ramp for its low-power 40nm process. The 45nm process will ramp up in the fourth quarter of this year.