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.
"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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