SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a conference call with analysts here on Thursday, Transmeta Corp. confirmed that its new, 0.13-micron microprocessors will be solely manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC)--not IBM Microelectronics.
TSMC will make Transmeta's 0.13-micron chips on a foundry basis in two locations in Taiwan, including its Fab 4 facility in Hsinchu and Fab 6 plant in Tainan, said Mark Allen, president and CEO of Transmeta. "We are not ramping up 0.13-micron technology at IBM," Allen told analysts.
The disclosure is a change in direction for Transmeta. Last year, Transmeta entered into a foundry deal with TSMC, which would process chips with 0.18- and 0.13-micron technology. Until that time, IBM Corp. had been Transmeta's sole foundry for processed wafers (see Nov. 14 story ).
Until recently, however, it was unclear if Transmeta was using TSMC or IBM for its new 0.13-micron processor lines, dubbed the TM55000 and TM5800. Transmeta will shortly announce these chips for notebook PCs and related products (see June 13 story ).
During Thursday's call, Allen also confirmed that the company's business is weak, especially in its key market--Japan. Despite a series of high-profile design wins in recent weeks, Transmeta on Wednesday said it was cutting its outlook and lowering revenue estimates for the current quarter by 40-to-45% due to weak demand for processors in portable computer systems (see June 20 story ).
In fact, the company was caught by surprise by the slowdown. "We were surprised," Allen said. "I don't like surprises as well," he said.