GlobalFoundries, an established player in the foundry business, has surprised industry watchers by announcing that it’s ceasing all development of its 7nm chip production process. While the industry is increasingly looking to the few players working on this next generation process technology to start rolling out chips based on it, GlobalFoundries has decided that it’s not going to make 7nm chips.

GlobalFoundries is going to stop all work on its 7nm fabrication process for semiconductors so it won’t be used for any client. What will the company focus on instead? It will focus its energies on specialized processes technologies for clients based in high-growth emerging markets. They will be based on its 14nm and 12nm processes.

The strategy shift was implemented just a few weeks ago, said GlobalFoundries CTO Gary Patton, even though the company was expected to make the first 7nm chips for clients in the fourth quarter of this year. Patton added that this decision wasn’t based on technical issues but on business and financial concerns.

Its cancellation of the 7nm process also means that all research and pathfinding operations for the 5nm and 3nm modes has been shown the door as well. GlobalFoundries feels that it may not be wise to continue investing in this “bleeding edge” nodes when it doesn’t have any plans to use them in the foreseeable future.

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