TSMC Begins to Manufacture 28nm Chips for AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm

TSMC Initiates Volume Production of 28nm Chips

by Anton Shilov
10/24/2011 | 01:45 PM

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company on Monday announced that its 28nm process is in volume production and production wafers have been shipped to customers, including AMD, Altera, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Xilinx. TSMC is the first contract maker of semiconductors to achieve volume production at 28nm node.


“Being the first to 28nm volume production demonstrates TSMC’s leadership in technology and brings great value to our customers through design wins with competitive products,” said Jason Chen, TSMC’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.

At present, TSMC produces chips using 28HP [high-performance with HKMG], 28HPL [high-performance low-power with HKMG] and 28LP [low-power with SiON] are all in volume production and 28HPM will be ready for production by the end of this year. The production-version design collateral of 28HPM has been distributed to most mobile computing customers for their product-design use.

According to TSMC, the number of customer 28nm production tape outs has more than doubled as compared with that of 40nm. At 28nm, there are currently more than 80 customer product tape-outs. The TSMC 28nm process has surpassed the previous generation’s production ramps and product yield at the same point in time due to closer and earlier collaboration with customers, the contract maker stressed.

Several key customers of TSMC have already started to receive the first wafers with 28nm products.

"We applaud TSMC’s success bringing a robust 28nm process to market, and we look forward to leveraging the benefits of this new process when we ship our next-generation discrete graphics products. The combination of AMD’s industry-leading graphics IP and TSMC’s manufacturing prowess will enable the next big leap in graphics performance with the parallel compute horsepower and power efficiency designed to meet the needs of even the most demanding gamer,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of GPU division at AMD.

“Our close collaboration in developing 28nm processors will once again deliver the most energy-efficient GPUs and highest-performance graphics processors on the market,” said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of GeForce business unit at Nvidia.

“Most recently, Qualcomm’s work with TSMC yielded our Snapdragon S4 class of processors, including the Snapdragon S4 MSM8960, a highly-integrated, dual-core SoC designed to reduce power in cutting-edge smartphones and tablets. The Snapdragon S4 class of processors are manufactured in TSMC’s highly sophisticated 28LP process, enabling Qualcomm to deliver the breakthrough combination of high performance and ultra low power to mobile devices,” said Jim Clifford, senior vice president and general manager of operations at Qualcomm.

“In our 28nm generation, TSMC’s 28LP process fits the requirement of Cyclone V and Arria V families with the lowest power and costs, and we have utilized the 28HP process for the industry’s first delivered high-end 28nm FPGA, Stratix V with the highest performance and the lowest power in high-performance systems,” said Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing at Altera Corporation.

“Building our 7-series FPGA and processing families on the 28nm HPL process in collaboration with TSMC is enabling Xilinx to lower static power by 50% while also increasing both raw performance and usable performance ,” said Vincent Tong, senior vice president of worldwide quality and new product introductions at Xilinx.