LONDON – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is fighting back against rival Globalfoundries Inc. and winning key contracts from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for its 40- and 28-nm manufacturing process technologies, according to a Taiwan Economic News report.
AMD plans to have TSMC build its 28-nm Southern Islands chip in the second quarter of 2012 and has been pushing 40-nm contracts TSMC's way for the Zacate and Ontario accelerated processing units (APUs), despite reports of low yields on 40-nm at TSMC.
The spin-off of AMD's manufacturing operations formed the core at the birth of Globalfoundries so a significant switch of foundry orders to TSMC would represent a key stroke against its rival.
Demand for the Zacate and Ontario APUs has been high since their introduction in December 2010, Taiwan Economic News said, adding that AMD has been trying to sign up all the additional capacity that TSMC will add to its Fab 12 and Fab 14 factories in 2011. The two chips, which combine CPU and GPU for use in mobile applications, are said to have low power consumption and low prices, making them attractive to computer makers, the report said.
TSMC is expected to be producing 5,000 wafers per month on the 28-nm node and Apple is expected to join Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments as users. Apple used Samsung to make its A4 processor for the iPad but is expected to switch to TSMC for the A5 processor on 28-nm, as Samsung becomes a significant shipper of competing smartphones and tablets.
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