TSMC Sees "Design Explosion" with 28nm Chips

TSMC: 28nm Process Technology Brings New Design Wins

by Anton Shilov
05/15/2011 | 02:59 PM

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company believes that 28nm process technology opens a number of new doors for the company. The world's largest contract manufacturer of chips claims that it has almost ninety 28nm design wins and believes the new fabrication process will have high popularity among chip designers for ultra-portable devices.


"The smartphone and tablet is the new killer application. We are seeing a design explosion at 28nm. We have 89 tape-outs in the pipeline," said Maria Marced, president of TSMC Europe, in an interview with EETimes web-site.

According to the official of TSMC, the company already has 90% of the 28nm foundry market. The market share number cannot be verified since, for example, Samsung Electronics claims that it has 35 tape-outs with its 32nm and 28nm process technologies, which are similar.

Unlike TSMC, Samsung uses high-K metal gate for its 32nm chips, whereas the Taiwan-based foundry bluntly scrapped 32nm fabrication process since it was essentially a shrink from 40nm and it was not economically feasible. TSMC is not currently shipping non-HKMG-based 28nm parts.

It is rather noteworthy that there are at least 134 tape-outs for 28nm process technology at TSMC and Samsung, not counting GlobalFoundries. The amount of designers requiring to produce chips at the 40nm node is lower, which means that the 28nm fabrication process is significantly more economically feasible.