Nvidia’s Chief Executive Says “No” to Globalfoundries, Microprocessors

Nvidia Denies Intentions to Use Globalfoundries, Develop Own Central Processing Units

by Anton Shilov
11/08/2009 | 10:51 PM

Just months after confirming negotiations with Globalfoundries, semiconductor joint-venture between Advanced Micro Devices and Advanced Technology Investment Company, chief executive officer of Nvidia said that the company had no plans to outsource part of its manufacturing to the contract maker of chips.

“Globalfoundries is an AMD fab, right? Globalfoundries is AMD's fab. Our strategy is TSMC,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief exec of Nvidia, in an interview with Cnet News web-site.


Earlier this year Mr. Huang said that Globalfoundries was a leading silicon foundry with “advanced and outstanding process technology” and Nvidia was “seriously evaluating and discussing” the possibilities of working with them.

Globalfoundries belongs to the so-called IBM’s bulk alliance and uses different process technologies that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Nvidia already had negative experience with IBM’s production capabilities back in 2004, when IBM could not make enough NV40 chips for the company. On the one hand, IBM’s bulk fabrication processes may be somewhat problematic, but on the other hand, Globalfoundries at present has only three customers, AMD, ARM and STMicroelectronics, hence Nvidia’s demands could be satisfied. Moreover, Nvidia should at least eye companies beyond TSMC as the company, for example, experiences huge issues with TSMC’s 40nm process technology and its yields.

At present Nvidia manufactures 90% of its chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and 10% of products at United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), according to Mr. Huang. Howevever, Nvidia’s annual report also claims that Nvidia utilizes capacities of Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and Austria Micro Systems (AMS).

Separately, Jen-Hsun Huang again said that Nvidia had no plans to develop its own microprocessor.

“Nvidia's strategy is very, very clear. I'm very straightforward about it. Right now, more than ever, we have to focus on visual and parallel computing. Our strategy is to proliferate the GPU into all kinds of platforms for growth. GPUs in servers for parallel computing, for supercomputing – and cloud computing with our GPU is a fabulous growth opportunity – and streaming video,” said Mr. Huang.