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28nm Chips Remain in Short Supply at TSMC

By - Source: Digitimes | B 33 comments

TSMC is reportedly still having problems ramping up its 28nm production capacity.

According to a report published by Digitimes, the capacity shortage is expected to ease beginning in the third quarter of this year, industry sources told the publication.

The article further suggests that Qualcomm moved some of its 28nm orders to United Microelectronics, as TSMC has not been able to meet demand for smartphones and tablet PCs yet. AMD's 28nm GPU shipments are also behind as is Nvidia's Kepler architecture, Digitimes said.

TSMC reportedly remains "conservative" about a 28 nm expansion and is focused to maintain gross margins at this time. As a result, 28nm supply is only improving slowly.

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  • 20 Hide
    phatboe , April 8, 2012 12:22 AM
    I thought TSMC scrapped the 32nm node to focus on and accelerate the 28nm node. Now they claim to want to be more conservative? Yeah this may save TSMC a few bucks here and there but it is destroying it's partner's profits. Mean while Intel is gaining market share in almost every sector that they are involved in. It's so sad that the TSMC is holding back progress for so many companies all to save a few bucks.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2012 2:07 AM
    Intel may have to produce everybody's chips. They are the only company that knows how to do this thing.
  • 12 Hide
    Unolocogringo , April 8, 2012 12:42 AM
    If yields are 50% and a wafer cost $1000.00.
    You process 1000 wafers a day that equals half a million($500,000) dollar a day loss in wafer cost alone ,not including labor and processing cost!
    Can you blame them now?
Other Comments
    Display all 33 comments.
  • -8 Hide
    beayn , April 8, 2012 12:11 AM
    The ol' stock market at work, slowing things down again. Damn the french for inventing it!
  • 9 Hide
    hmdhruvarora , April 8, 2012 12:21 AM
    Hulk sad... :( 
  • 20 Hide
    phatboe , April 8, 2012 12:22 AM
    I thought TSMC scrapped the 32nm node to focus on and accelerate the 28nm node. Now they claim to want to be more conservative? Yeah this may save TSMC a few bucks here and there but it is destroying it's partner's profits. Mean while Intel is gaining market share in almost every sector that they are involved in. It's so sad that the TSMC is holding back progress for so many companies all to save a few bucks.
  • 12 Hide
    Unolocogringo , April 8, 2012 12:42 AM
    If yields are 50% and a wafer cost $1000.00.
    You process 1000 wafers a day that equals half a million($500,000) dollar a day loss in wafer cost alone ,not including labor and processing cost!
    Can you blame them now?
  • 3 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , April 8, 2012 1:17 AM
    They arent doing anymore yields/good di scenarios, that ended with 40nm.
    Its strictly per wafer
    This ramp up is actually much faster than 40nm, as the 4770 was one of its first, and came way before we saw decent yields and numbers on 40nm, so 3rd qtr still looks good comparatively
  • 1 Hide
    maxinexus , April 8, 2012 1:38 AM
    You are so generous with 50% yields Ricky! Sometime ago I read article about closer to 20% yields per wafer. That is why we don't see Keplers cards anywhere and if they are in small quantities. That is no good for nvidia.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2012 2:07 AM
    Intel may have to produce everybody's chips. They are the only company that knows how to do this thing.
  • 3 Hide
    Unolocogringo , April 8, 2012 2:47 AM
    I have not read any articles stating yields in a while just that they had gotten better.
    I thought i was being conservative with the 50% and it gave good round numbers for my example.
    Looks like it is worse than i thought.
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , April 8, 2012 3:13 AM
    "If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself"
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2012 3:18 AM
    @samIHam: Well, TSMC is leading Intel in process technology. Last time I checked, 28nm is smaller than 32nm.

    Of course, you like most other Intel fanboys will just pretend like Intel's 22nm process is already out and doing well, even though here in the real world it's severely delayed, with no hard ETA yet. Even when it is finally available, it may not be available in much volume.

    ::Queue up people stating that Intel could do better, but they're deliberately choosing not to because AMD isn't 'competive enough'::
  • 4 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 8, 2012 3:25 AM
    short supply? sure, just as diamonds and every other expensive thing in the world... ppl who believe that is just dumb! shortage is how they do money
  • 5 Hide
    rex86 , April 8, 2012 3:34 AM
    twenty-eight@samIHam: Well, TSMC is leading Intel in process technology. Last time I checked, 28nm is smaller than 32nm. Of course, you like most other Intel fanboys will just pretend like Intel's 22nm process is already out and doing well, even though here in the real world it's severely delayed, with no hard ETA yet. Even when it is finally available, it may not be available in much volume.::Queue up people stating that Intel could do better, but they're deliberately choosing not to because AMD isn't 'competive enough'::


    Intel is producing 22nm products as we speak, but they won't release it until they sell out their SB based products, which is quite logical as the PC market has been shrinking for some time now. At least that's what I read on the Internet.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2012 3:37 AM
    28 nm is not necessarily a better process than 32 nm. You are showing your ignorance twenty-eight. There is more to this than just a die shrink (including the type of semiconductors, material type, gate type, etc.). One cannot blindly state that one 28nm process is greater than one 32nm process. One could argue that Intel's 32nm process is as advanced or even moreso than TSMC's 28nm process. Intel's 22nm process is much, much, more advanced for sure.

    Please don't try that ETA BS either. You are just being an ignorant troll. Every vendor out there is getting products now in an attempt to ramp up production and have systems ready by May. Did you think they announce one day, then start taking orders the next? You are as daft as they come apparently.

    So, again, TSMC is in no way leading Intel in process technology. No one iota. In fact, they are WAY behind the curve that Intel has set in many ways. Next, you'll be telling us that AMD processors are better because they run at 3.9 GHz turbo and Intel's run at 3.8 turbo. Good grief!
  • 3 Hide
    Parsian , April 8, 2012 3:58 AM
    man AMD needs to become independent again or find a worthy partner. This is bad, especially if they are supplying the next gen console chips. This could be the opportunity for AMD to recover.
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , April 8, 2012 4:42 AM
    Didn't AMD ditch GlobalFoundries for the same exact reason?...
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2012 4:47 AM
    Fool: I guess you're going to tout that Intel's process nodes are not only ahead of everybody else by 6 to 12 months, but you are going to suggest that they are actually better at the same geometry?

    That's completely laughable, Intel's 45nm didn't outperform GloFo's or TSMC's 40/45nm in any metric. Even the 45nm SOI process had less leakage than 45nm HKMG, which was what HKMG was supposed to address.

    Then there was Intel's 32nm shenanigans, they spent an eternity selling budget dual-cores and ultra-low-volume 6-cores before they could finally get yields to the point where they could sell high-volume mainstream quad cores. Meanwhile, GloFo ramped their 32nm much more quickly, with moderate availabilty of the entire line available from day 1.

    But, where you lose this argument is Ivy's specs: It's barely more than a die shrunk Sandy Bridge, and they only gained little to no clock-speed, at less than 20% power savings? That doesn't sound like a very good 22nm process to me, are you sure it will be any better than competing 28nm processes? Based on evidence from current 28nm GPUs and known specs of Ivy Bridge, 28nm appears to tie or beat 22nm in every metric, even transistor density.
  • 4 Hide
    ojas , April 8, 2012 6:30 AM
    twenty-eight@samIHam: Well, TSMC is leading Intel in process technology. Last time I checked, 28nm is smaller than 32nm. Of course, you like most other Intel fanboys will just pretend like Intel's 22nm process is already out and doing well, even though here in the real world it's severely delayed, with no hard ETA yet. Even when it is finally available, it may not be available in much volume.::Queue up people stating that Intel could do better, but they're deliberately choosing not to because AMD isn't 'competive enough'::

    Lol@that intel's already building 14nm fabs.

    anyway, IB launches on the 23rd of this month, that's a solid release date for you. They're taking orders from other companies too, i'm sure they're not facing that many problems.

    I'm not sure, however, how one would compare the manufacturing process, but if production volume is any metric, i would say Intel's ahead.

    SM4RT3R_TH4N_UFool: I guess you're going to tout that Intel's process nodes are not only ahead of everybody else by 6 to 12 months, but you are going to suggest that they are actually better at the same geometry?That's completely laughable, Intel's 45nm didn't outperform GloFo's or TSMC's 40/45nm in any metric. Even the 45nm SOI process had less leakage than 45nm HKMG, which was what HKMG was supposed to address.Then there was Intel's 32nm shenanigans, they spent an eternity selling budget dual-cores and ultra-low-volume 6-cores before they could finally get yields to the point where they could sell high-volume mainstream quad cores. Meanwhile, GloFo ramped their 32nm much more quickly, with moderate availabilty of the entire line available from day 1.But, where you lose this argument is Ivy's specs: It's barely more than a die shrunk Sandy Bridge, and they only gained little to no clock-speed, at less than 20% power savings? That doesn't sound like a very good 22nm process to me, are you sure it will be any better than competing 28nm processes? Based on evidence from current 28nm GPUs and known specs of Ivy Bridge, 28nm appears to tie or beat 22nm in every metric, even transistor density.

    You're partly confusing architecture with the manufacturing process. AMD, Nvidia, Intel have different applications and different ways to use that silicon. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. How is IB a good example of a manufacturing process comparison? if by simply shrinking the process while retaining the architecture, you're saving 15-20% power, how isn't that bad? I mean Haswell=change of arch+22nm, why not use that as a metric against sandy bridge after that releases? I mean they're both on a "tock" cycle, after all.

    I don't know what you're whining about. I mean FFS let's just hope TSMC gets their act together so we can buy our graphics cards...if i have to wait past june i'll simply buy a GTX 560, something i don't want to do.

    p.s. Nvidia wanted Intel to manufacture their chips for them...i think that says everything, doesn't it? If it weren't embarrassing for AMD to do the same, i'm sure it would too. And get the same answer, "no". :p 
  • 1 Hide
    Microgoliath , April 8, 2012 9:46 AM
    @smarter_than_u

    10-20% lower power yet still attaining same / higher clocks than sandy which uses more power to get there.

    So give ivy the same power that sandy uses and ramp those clocks up.
  • -5 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , April 8, 2012 10:56 AM
    22nm? Pfft that's old hat.
  • 2 Hide
    vaughn2k , April 8, 2012 12:34 PM
    samIHamIntel may have to produce everybody's chips. They are the only company that knows how to do this thing.

    Their scientist are being paid very well, they also tend to camp outside of Intel just to get 'things' done. Missed those days...
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