HSINCHU, Taiwan -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. here today announced delivery of processed wafers with functioning 0.13-micron microprocessors to foundry customer Via Technologies Inc. According to TSMC, these microprocessor wafers are the foundry industry's first 0.13-micron products to be shipped to a customer.
The announcement comes nearly two months after TSMC announced it had begun processing customer IC designs with a new 0.13-micron process technology (see Sept. 15 story). TSMC and foundry rival United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) are racing each other to take an early lead in 0.13-micron chip-processing services.
The first 0.13-micron wafers from TSMC contain Via's next-generation x86 processor.
"Through our close partnership with TSMC, Via will be the first company in the world to launch a CPU using an advanced 0.13 micron process onto the market," declared Wenchi Chen, president and chief executive officer of the Taiwan chip supplier. Via is preparing to challenge Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) with its new Cyrix processor.
The Cyrix chips have been fabricated with TSMC's CL013LV process, which is the foundry supplier's high-performance, low-voltage version of its 0.13-micron technology. TSMC is also offering 0.13-micron processes for low power (CL013LP) and a core technology for standard chip designs (CL013G).
Taiwan's Via said it is aiming the new Cyrix processor at "value" PCs, notebook computers, and information appliances. The company said it has received the 0.13-micron processed, 200-mm wafers from TSMC and has verified complete functionality.