There isn’t much that’s “common” about IBM, Samsung and GlobalFoundries’ 2011 Common Platform Technology Forum to be held January 18, 2011 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Indeed, the free daylong event will feature the cream of the tech manufacturing crop strutting their collective silicon stuff while wafering on about semiconductor manufacturing technology to infinity and beyond! (or at least, from 32/28nm technology generations and beyond.)
It will be a day of grand speeches. A day where Glofo, Samsung and IBM will reaffirm a plethora of “strategic partnerships” and collaborations to offer a common technology platform for their prospective punters. Leading edge technology will be flaunted and us press plebs will salivate at the prospect of tinier chips with even lower power and even greater performance. It will be a grand affair indeed.
The conference represents a veritable league of extraordinary (FAB) gentlemen, whose joint partnerships represent a powerful force in the industry. For instance, customers looking for a fab to produce products using a 28nm process could dual source with Samsung and GlobalFoundries and get the same core manufacturing tech from both foundries. That means, by taking advantage of the partnerships between these fab firms, companies can diversify leading-edge supply with minimal risk.
TechEye spoke to GlobalFoundries' vice president of global communications, Jon Carvill, who told us: "Common Platform continues to remain an important part of our strategy and differentiation as a foundry. Being able to collaborate with IBM and Samsung on leading-edge technologies at 28nm and beyond provides a foundation to offer leading chip designers increased access, flexibility and scale in getting their products to market on an incredibly high performance and low power foundry technology platform."
The implications of the conference are even more far reaching than that though. For example, if you consider IBM, Samsung and GlobalFoundries detailing their collective technology strategies – strategies which basically represent the future of tech for the PC/CE value chain – you have a rather newsworthy event.
GlobalFoundries alone supplies companies like AMD, Qualcomm, TI, Broadcom and others, while Samsung is widely suspected of supplying a certain fruit company and IBM supplies pretty much all of the world’s game consoles processors. Imagine the nuggets of information one might overhear at such a conference. Worth their weight in silicon.
Of course, smart-phones and wireless will likely also be a key theme and focus at the conference, and we’re willing to bet there’ll be a big push on leading-edge low-power technology for smart mobile devices – Especially as ARM will be a big participant in the event as well.
We’d venture to say the conference might hold a lot of really juicy tidbits about what's powering next-gen smartphones well in advance of chip designers making any official announcements. And that’s why we plan to be there.