TSMC finds its 28nm dance card a little overbooked

Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2011 - 09:21 AM |
Tagged: TSMC, 28nm, amd, krishna, wichita

The 28nm process is causing a lot of problems for tech companies especially AMD who have cancelled the follow ups to Llano and Ontario, Krishna and Wichita.  Not only have they cancelled the chips but they have switched from GLOBALFOUNDRIES to TSMC to have the replacement chips designed and fabbed.  This is most likely because of the low yields that have been coming out of GLOBALFOUNDRIES with Llano, AMD's most successful recent design.  The low volumes hurt AMD's market share since many companies would not base a product line on a chip that might not be around in volume.  As well a deal is expiring in January which had AMD only paying for good dies, instead of the more usual practice of paying for the entire wafer and dealing with the bad dies as they come

That move might not be as successful as AMD hopes when you look at this article from DigiTimes.  As it turns out TSMC is concerned about their ability to meet the demand for 28nm chips from their customers.  It is not just AMD that is turning to TSMC for 28nm, Altera, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Xilinx are already customers and Broadcom, LSI Logic and STMicroelectronics may join that crowd.  With so many customers utilizing the same process even small problems on TSMC's lines could lead to big drops in available chips.  Let us hope the days of the 40nm problems at TSMC never come back.

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"Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) continues to see orders heat up for advanced 28nm technology, despite a general slowdown in the semiconductor industry, according to industry sources. Order visibility has stretched to about six months, said the sources.

TSMC is expected to see 28nm processes account for more than 2% of company revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011. The proportion will expand further to over 10% in 2012, as more available capacity coupled with rising customer demand boost the output, the sources indicated."

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Source: DigiTimes

AMD's been having a very busy start to the year

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2011 - 09:07 AM |
Tagged: southern islands, wichita, krishna, llano, amd

If DigiTimes sources are right and they usually are, you should have no trouble securing a Llano part when they are released in June/July. With an expected 3,000,000 parts headed out the door there will be plenty of APUs for everybody.  Even better news is that the 28nm Southern Island parts have been taped out which indicates very good things for that process technology and the chips it will produce.

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"AMD is ready to start selling its new Llano-based APUs as soon as June or July and has set a goal of shipping three million units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 40% of AMD's total CPU shipments in the quarter, according to sources from motherboard makers.

AMD responded by stating it does not comment on unannounced products.

AMD's better-than-expected APU shipments helped the company to achieve on-year growth of 98% and on-quarter growth of 36% for its first-quarter net profit, which reached US$510 million.

The sources pointed out that the AMD's APU platform's low price has helped it receive supports from many of AMD's partners and the company in the first quarter already shipped about three million Brazos-based CPUs with 50% of the shipments being used for notebook platform.

The sources pointed out that AMD's new Llano APU will have a great chance to raise AMD's share in CPU market from around 20% in 2010 to 30%.

Taiwan-based Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have all already prepared several different motherboard models designed specifically for Llano. Since AMD's APU offers a better price, but has a similar performance as Intel's same-grade products, the competition may trigger Intel to consider a price cut to counter, the sources noted.

In addition to Llano, AMD's 28nm products including Krishna- and Wichita-based APUs and Southern Island GPU are already under tape-out."

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Source: DigiTimes