Advanced Micro Devices
Swiss technology giant STMicroelectronics
The fact that STMicro was the first chip designer to sign on the dotted line here should surprise nobody. AMD and STMicro have long worked together under the umbrella of IBM's
The alliance is hard at work on 32-nanometer and 28-nanometer manufacturing processes, with the more advanced technology due for "early risk production" in the second half of 2010. Smaller processor traces translate into lower power draws, smaller chips, and more chips per silicon wafer, so these advances play a major part in keeping processor technology profitable.
To give you some idea of what "early risk" means, foundry veteran Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Depending on how well the IBM team and Intel manage to stick to their roadmap dates, it looks like STMicro, AMD, and others will have access to a very competitive technology in 2011, possibly with a lead over Intel's 32-nanometer technology for a couple of months. That is not something AMD is used to, and that kind of progress could attract lots of curious foundry partners as well. Texas Instruments
Of course, there are plenty of ifs, buts, and best-case scenarios involved in getting to that point. Keep an eye on this space to stay abreast of GlobalFoundries and its technical progress. High technology leads to cold, hard cash in this saga.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Taiwan Semiconductor and AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.