IBM Power10 is manufactured by Samsung Electronics

IBM Announces IBM Power E1080 with Power10 Processor

🟩IBM Announces Power10

The Power10 processor is an IBM CPU based on the 10th generation Power architecture. Adopting 7nm process technology, it integrates 18 billion transistors on one chip. Compared to the previous generation Power9, it has increased energy efficiency and performance by up to three times.

Until the previous generation of the 14nm process, the Power9, manufacturing was outsourced to Global Foundries (GF). However, the Power10 adopts Samsung Electronics’ 7nm process.

🟩 It was originally planned to be manufactured by GF

GlobalFoundries (GF) is a semiconductor foundry company that was spun off by AMD, a leading CPU company, in 2009.

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GF took over IBM’s foundry business

IBM has a policy of focusing on basic semiconductor research and leaving chip development to partners. Therefore, in 2014, we transferred the foundry business to GF. At that time, IBM paid $1.5 billion for the transfer, and GF signed an agreement to provide IBM with an exclusive 10-year process for server CPUs. Therefore, the Power10 was originally planned to be manufactured by GF.

GF is suspended indefinitely after 7nm process

However, GF stopped development after the 7nm process indefinitely in 2018. As a result, IBM had no choice but to change the production of the originally planned 7nm CPU from GF to Samsung Electronics.

Breach of contract leads to legal battles

In addition, in 2019, GF sold its IBM plant to Onsemi and its ASIC design division to Marvel (MRVL). Not only did he quit developing the process, but he also sold off the assets transferred to IBM. Against this backdrop, IBM is preparing to sue GF for breach of contract.

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IBM manufactured the Power10 in Samsung’s 7nm process due to GF’s advanced process development halt.

From IBM’s point of view, GF’s strategy is unreasonable. Since GF is a privately held company, it can make such a decision.

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