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Nvidia Reportedly Looking for Alternative Foundries for 28nm

By - Source: Digitimes | B 45 comments

The shortage of 28 nm production capacity is leading fabless chip companies to look for new sources to support their business.

A new report claims that both Nvidia and Qualcomm have approached other companies to produce their chips.

Nvidia, which previously relied on TSMC as a foundry, apparently has contracted Samsung to manufacture 28 nm GPUs while Qualcomm seems to have chosen United Microelectronics (UMC) and Globalfoundries as chip manufacturer, according to Digitimes.

Even if TSMC confirmed that it is ramping its 28 nm process, it is unlikely that the company will be able to match demand until the first quarter of 2013. Sources told Digitimes that 28 nm orders at TSMC jumped 5x between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. TSMC announced that it is considering an increased investment in its production process to help ease the current supply-and-demand imbalance. Details about this plan are expect to be provided at an investors meeting on April 26.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , April 18, 2012 2:34 AM
    Hi Nvidia. I'll lend you my oven. Please leave three 680's as payment.
  • 20 Hide
    fb39ca4 , April 18, 2012 2:45 AM
    Nvidia, I will lend you mah lazor. I won't even ask for anything in return.
  • 16 Hide
    alidan , April 18, 2012 3:39 AM
    wgknestrickBOOO HOOOO. We don't know how to make our products ourselves because we ship (outsource) all manufacturing jobs overseas....BOOOOOO HOOOOOO.If you want something done right, do it yourself, Nvidia.


    a fab is a multibillion $ investment, you would probably end up in the red about 5-10billion before you churn out one chip.

    for most companies who don't make obscene amounts of money, a 3rd party fab is the better option, because that IS there business, building and running the fab, where for you it would be a major part, but not the sole purpose of your business.
Other Comments
    Display all 45 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , April 18, 2012 2:34 AM
    Hi Nvidia. I'll lend you my oven. Please leave three 680's as payment.
  • 20 Hide
    fb39ca4 , April 18, 2012 2:45 AM
    Nvidia, I will lend you mah lazor. I won't even ask for anything in return.
  • 8 Hide
    Shin-san , April 18, 2012 2:45 AM
    I now know that Samsung has fabs. I thought every company that wasn't Intel used a third party, or a fab agreement of some sort, usually TSMC or GlobalFoundries.

    I also heard that nVidia might have contacted Intel.
  • 16 Hide
    bak0n , April 18, 2012 2:47 AM
    TSMC is shooting themselves in the foot trying to drive higher prices by controlling volume. Here's the proof.
  • 0 Hide
    alverdeja , April 18, 2012 2:48 AM
    2013?!?! Is this precedented?
  • 15 Hide
    spasmolytic46 , April 18, 2012 2:49 AM
    I wonder if AMD still thinks selling the fab was smart?
  • 2 Hide
    fuzzion , April 18, 2012 2:59 AM
    Where are my quantum computers?
  • 1 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , April 18, 2012 3:15 AM
    nVidia has also stated they want 450mm wafers, and so far Intel is the main driver behind it, with some of the IBM cartel looking into it as well.
    Problem is, the very tool makers themselves arent sure they want to make such an investment.
    As nodes get smaller, only the larger sellers ae using them from startup, and as seen in TSMCs production, their investments on 28nm may go up, but that also leaves the older processes at a loss.
    They have commitments as well, and this isnt some evil conspiracy.
  • 16 Hide
    alidan , April 18, 2012 3:39 AM
    wgknestrickBOOO HOOOO. We don't know how to make our products ourselves because we ship (outsource) all manufacturing jobs overseas....BOOOOOO HOOOOOO.If you want something done right, do it yourself, Nvidia.


    a fab is a multibillion $ investment, you would probably end up in the red about 5-10billion before you churn out one chip.

    for most companies who don't make obscene amounts of money, a 3rd party fab is the better option, because that IS there business, building and running the fab, where for you it would be a major part, but not the sole purpose of your business.
  • 3 Hide
    MKBL , April 18, 2012 4:00 AM
    bak0nTSMC is shooting themselves in the foot trying to drive higher prices by controlling volume. Here's the proof.


    Problem is their yield, not their intentional volume control. At this time, Samsung has the most efficient production technology/know-how/capacity required for the smallest nodes.
  • -8 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 18, 2012 4:04 AM
    good news! next world finalcial crises around the corner!
  • 1 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , April 18, 2012 4:04 AM
    Hi Nvidia. I work for Intel. Let's talk.
  • 0 Hide
    the_brute , April 18, 2012 4:07 AM
    Im surprised that TSMC didnt look far enough in the future to foresee this issue. AMD has cut many ties to GF and has shown its unsettlement in TSMC, Nvidia is looking to leave TSMC. Well Samsung and Intel congratulations, you are going to be the big winners after these smaller companies finally find a better fit for themselves.

    Wasnt money why TSMC skipped a shrink, and still they dont have 28nm up to production? If this is the case they are very behind and still falling. Would two fabs joining be able to help this? (TSMC/GF?) I know AMD Nvidia are only 2 of probably dozens of clients but this has been a growing issue from what I have seen.
  • 7 Hide
    Swolern , April 18, 2012 4:18 AM
    WTF so i wont get another 680 till 2013? NOOOOOOOO!
  • 9 Hide
    jack99 , April 18, 2012 4:39 AM
    Too bad for the Apple fanboys. They've been crowing since last year about Apple showing Samsung the door. Unless TSMC sprinkles unicorn dust on its fabs, there's a strong likelihood Apple will have to continue asking Samsung to build its CPUs.

    I'd say let's throw out the kleenix boxes for the Apple fanboys.
  • -1 Hide
    jack99 , April 18, 2012 4:41 AM
    hotsacomanHi Nvidia. I'll lend you my oven. Please leave three 680's as payment.


    Made my day. Yeah, Kepler's to die for!
  • 0 Hide
    husker , April 18, 2012 4:44 AM
    By then AMD will have their 8000 series cards ready to go.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , April 18, 2012 5:24 AM
    alternative is good as u dont want to put all ur eggs in the same basket.
  • 0 Hide
    Yargnit , April 18, 2012 5:37 AM
    jack99Too bad for the Apple fanboys. They've been crowing since last year about Apple showing Samsung the door. Unless TSMC sprinkles unicorn dust on its fabs, there's a strong likelihood Apple will have to continue asking Samsung to build its CPUs. I'd say let's throw out the kleenix boxes for the Apple fanboys.


    I wonder if Apple would consider building/buying it's own fab? They certainly have the cash on hand to do so.
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