More 28nm, 40nm Contracts Expected for TSMC

Feb 22, 2011 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken Liu, CENS
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Taipei, Feb. 22, 2011 (CENS)--Noticing that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has recently increased 40nm contracts to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), industry executives estimate more chip vendors will designate the No.1 silicon foundry to offer them 28nm process capacity.

AMD has farmed out more contracts to TSMC, booking more capacity for making its 40nm Zacate and Ontario accelerated processing units (APUs) in preparation for March shipments to mainland China. Demand for the two chips has been sizzling since their introduction in December 2010, straining the company's supplies.

Informed sources pointed out that AMD even hopes to sign up all of the new capacities TSMC will add to its Fab 12 and Fab 14 factories this year. AMD will make the two chips available in Beijing in March.

The two chips have made big splash since their introduction as a result of their low retail prices and low power consumption, wining them orders from ODM/OEM PC makers as Asustek Computer, Acer, Microstar International, Sony, Dell, HP, and Toshiba.

AMD granted TSMC Zacate and Ontario contracts in the third quarter of 2010 after signing up the foundry to build its Evergreen and Northern Islands graphic chips on 40nm process.

AMD even plans to exclusively contract TSMC to build its 28nm Southern Islands chip in the second quarter of 2012.

TSMC is recognized as the industry's No.1 supplier of 28nm process foundry with its monthly shipment of 5,000 wafers of 28nm chips in the first quarter of 2011. Industry executives estimated Apple to join Nvidia, TI and Qualcomm this year in using TSMC's 28nm foundry service.

They pointed out that Apple is likely to contract TSMC to make its A5 central processing units (CPUs) after Samsung starts rolling out smartphones and tablet PCs, two fastest-growing computing sectors in which Apple is already an established brand. Apple signed up Samsung to make its A4 processors.
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