AMD: We See No Problems with 28nm Chip Supply

AMD Claims Its Shipments of 28nm GPUs in Q1 Met Supply

by Anton Shilov
04/19/2012 | 03:23 PM

UPDATE: Adding citation of Thomas Seiffert's phrase.


Despite of many criticism surrounding slow ramp of 28nm process technology capacities at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, one of its major customers Advanced Micro Devices said that it had managed to meet the demand for graphics processing units (GPUs) made at 28nm node in Q1 of FY2012. The company still noted that it would like to get more 28nm chips.

"We were able to meet customer demand [for AMD Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" chips made using 28nm fabrication process] in the first quarter. The products are good, the demand is strong. We would like to have more access to the upside volume, but we have met pretty much all the demand in the first quarter," said Thomas Seiffert, chief financial officer of AMD, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

Throughout the first quarter of 2012, AMD shipped three Radeon HD 7000-series "Southern Islands" graphics chips made using 28nm process technology: Tahiti, Pitcairn and Cape Verde. In the second quarter of the year the company will add three new mobile GPUs produced at 28nm node into the mix. Given the fact that the first quarter of the year is usually slow in terms of demand for discrete graphics cards, the demand towards AMD's latest 28nm offerings might have been moderate.

This week AMD lowered recommended pricing on some of its Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards in a bid to boost their competitive advantages over competitors that use Nvidia GeForce chips. The price drop onto graphics cards which are powered by chips produced using 28nm process technology may indirectly indicate improved availability of Southern Islands graphics processing units and therefore better yields at TSMC's foundry.

AMD's graphics segment revenue (which includes sales of GPUs as well as royalties from game console platform holders) was $382 million, flat compared to the prior quarter, but decreased 7% year-over-year. GPU revenue was up in a seasonally down quarter, due to improved desktop GPU average selling price in the channel, offset by seasonally lower game console royalty revenue. Operating income of graphics product group was $34 million, compared with $27 million in Q4 2011 and $19 million in Q1 2011.

The latest Radeon HD 7700-, 7800- and 7900-series graphics cards support all the advantages that the graphics core next (GCN) architecture has to offer, including support for DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2, PCI Express 3.0, AMD Eyefinity 2.0 multi-monitor capability, ultra high-definition output support using DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4a, optimized power consumption, integrated 7.1 audio controller, stereo-3D/Blu-ray 3D support, as well as other new technologies.