Globalfdoundries and IBM both have chip manufacturing businesses that can exist just fine on their own, not counting the clients they make chips for, but that doesn't mean they can't go for outside help.
As it happens, both foundry companies feel that they could get faster at advancing manufacturing process nodes, if only they had the required tools and resources.
It turns out that Intermolacular has precisely what they need: the High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) technology, not to be confused with the other meaning of the HPC acronym: High-Performance Computing (or supercomputing, as it is commonly known).
The Intermolecural combinatorial technology increases the number of tests that a single processor wafer can be subjected to.
This allows experimental data to be generated and analyzed much more efficiently, not to mention quickly.
In turn, this speeds up the rate at which materials, processes and device architectures can be enhanced and transformed into more advanced versions.
"IBM and Globalfoundries are committed to pushing forward the leading-edge of IC logic manufacturing with new materials and device structures," said Gary Patton, VP semiconductor research for IBM.
"Intermolecular's HPC technology will help to more rapidly explore materials and processing options for advanced logic manufacturing."
and Globalfoundries hope to use the HPC technology to more quickly reach the level where they can safely and viably (marketing-wise) manufacture chips based on a 10nm manufacturing process.
To give some perspective, current-generation CPUs are designed on the 22nm manufacturing technology, NAND
flash is courting the 20nm node, GPUs
use the 28nm process and RAM is already going into the 1xnm range
"Our business model is built on collaboration, both in customer engagements and technology development," commented David Bennett, vice president of alliances for Globalfoundries. "Collaborating with Intermolecular has strengthened our R&D pipeline and improved R&D efficiency."