GLOBAL FOUNDRIES has been way ahead of the curve with process tech when compared to any other foundry on the market. Today, it somewhat accidentally cemented that lead by publicly displaying an unlabeled 28nm wafer.
28nm wafers that are not test structures
Global Foundries representatives would not talk about what chips were on that wafer, but they were definitely not the test SRAM structures that we saw in June. The new wafers were quite irregular in appearance, so they could be CPU or GPU chips, or they could be some very advanced test structures. Given the size ballparks at over 300mm^2, they are unlikely to be ARM cores, but they could be advanced SOCs based on ARM designs.
In any case, Global Foundries 28nm process is looking good. Officially, it is still on track for the second half of 2010, but given this showing, that may be an overly cautious timetable. Progress like this tends to lead to a slew of new products, so bring on the new toys.S|A