by Anton Shilov
02/22/2011 | 12:39 PM
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has initiated shipments of its first commercial chips made using 28nm process technology. At present TSMC manufactures only field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) using its most simplistic 28nm fabrication process called 28LP, later this year the firm will adopt its other versions of 28nm with high-k metal gate.
In Q1 2011 TSMC plans to ship five thousand wafers with 28nm FPGAs to Altera and Xilinx a month, Eric Chen, an analyst with Daiwa Securities, has reportedly revealed. Earlier it was reported that TSMC began to ship 28nm chips to Altera in Q4 2011. Although TSMC yet has to confirm that it had started to ship certain 28nm chips, the information may be correct as initially TSMC wanted to start supplies of 28LP chips in Q3 2010.
Even though technically TSMC is ahead of all companies making various types of processors or logic in terms of 28nm node, its 28LP process not only uses poly gate and silicon oxide nitrate for gates, but even with this one TSMC is late by one or more quarter from its own schedule.
Later during the year TSMC intends to initiate production of chips based on 28HP and 28HPL process technologies, both of which utilize high-K metal gate (HKMG) technology. Among the clients to use these processes are AMD, Apple, Nvidia, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm. TSMC hopes that wafers produced at various 28nm nodes will account for 2% - 3% of its revenue in the fourth quarter of the year.
TSMC did not comment on the news-story.