While the world is dealing with shrinking wallets in what is being quaintly referred to as an economic downturn, Intel and Global Foundries are working on shrinking their chips.  Intel has plans in motion to hit 32nm in the next 2 years and is shopping around for the tools they will use to begin work on their 22nm process.  Global Foundries is already playing with working 32nm parts and is optimizing their processes and their 28nm chips should hit volume production some time in 2010.  Intel, as well as many other fabs are switching to 450mm wafers to increase the number of dies per wafer, while Global Foundries feels that retooling their fabs, or their designs, to switch is not in their best interests.  Get a look at the two contenders that are facing off at The Inquirer.

“FABULOUS TIDINGS are at hand for those who like a good old fashioned competitive skirmish, as it would appear that Intel will be going head-to-head with its manufacturing rivals over the coming months.

A recent article in EETimes discussed whether Intel should be referred to as a fab broker or breaker, pointing to the chip giant’s recent investments in IC-equipment vendors like ASMI, which provides Chipzilla with both high-k and low-k tool tech. The article clearly stated that Intel could not afford to have a weak semiconductor equipment supply chain, and would invest in and prop up its partners where necessary to stop this from happening.”

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