Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company recently reaffirmed its plans to start commercial production of chips using 28nm high-K metal gate process technology this calendar year. Apparently, the company expects revenue for 28nm wafers to account for up to 3% of its revenue in Q4 2011.
"We plan to have around 2% or 3% of our total revenue in the fourth quarter [to] be 28nm. The tape-outs of the 28-nanaometer will start to ramp in the second half, starting in the third quarter and then more in the fourth quarter. But the real momentum [for 28nm], we believe, will be next year," said Morris Chang, chairman and chief executive officer of TSMC, during a conference with financial analysts.
In case TSMC initiates production using 28nm process technology in Q4, then the ramp from 0% to 3% of revenue in the first quarter will be pretty fast. Still, it may not be fast enough to fulfill the demand towards the chips made using leading-edge process technology since there are a number of designs which volume ramp is crucial for companies like Advanced Micro Devices or Nvidia Corp., the largest customers of TSMC.
The global leader in contract semiconductor manufacturing is pretty confident of its 28nm process technologies and claims that its customers are prototyping their products. Among the high-end chips to be made at 28nm node the head of TSMC mentions a multi-core ARM-based chip clocked at 3GHz.
"TCMC's 28nm is industry-first and ready for primetime. Customer products are already taped-out and are in prototyping. We have superior performance, superior reliability and density, the density being two times over 40nm with our gate-last high-k metal gate process," added Mr. Chang.