28nm @ TSMC: Very expensive or just wafer-limited?

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by AnarchX, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. UniversalTruth

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    How exactly do they improve yield? Isn't manufacturing capacity somehow related to improving yields, I mean a given number of different designs through the process, large enough samples to be taken in order to fix issues, such kind of stuff...
     
  2. AlNets

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    Trial and error with the doping/chemical concentrations? The lithography has a number of steps that could go wrong with improper timings. Oxide growth can be uneven across a wafer too but... *shrug*
     
  3. dkanter

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    I think those slides were just people bitching about TSMC's prices. Over time, the prices will drop. It's nothing fundamental to 28nm or 20nm.

    DK
     
  4. UniversalTruth

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    TSMC eyeing advanced process chip orders from Apple

    And more interesting stuff, just click it. ;)


    Edit:

    More 'news'

    Graphics card shortages to see improvements in late May
     
    #64 UniversalTruth, May 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2012
  5. iwod

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    I do hope TSMC will get their act together. I am pretty sure Apple wont mind paying a dollar or 2 for chip made elsewhere then Samsung. And just may be, TSMC will make a true Apple Design SoC instead of the current one which are more like take parts away and tweaked Design of Samsung SoC.
     
  6. silent_guy

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    I think they will care a lot about $2. But TSMC should be cheaper.

    The chance of Apple using Samsung IP, other than, maybe the standard cell library, is close to 0.
     
  7. dagamer

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    Large chunks of any SoC are pretty much other people's IP. The CPU, the GPU, the memory controller, etc... are all pretty much designed by someone else, just packaged together differently. It's like saying an Mac is better than a PC because of the hardware inside. It's all the same parts more or less!

    The key is the "special sauce", the glue that binds those components together. Sometimes it's the most mundane stuff like a hinge that affects your perception of a brand far more than the highly specialized CPU built to incredible tolerances.

    Lastly, while Apple would probably love to crush Samsung, they are the only reliable foundry that can scale production to meet Apples orders right now. TSMC is already reporting shortages, do you think they could handle another 40 million Apple orders right now? I don't think so.
     
  8. dkanter

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    It's not clear how much of the IP is Apple's. They are using an ImgTec GPU, but I don't know if future CPUs are custom designs or licensed cores (in the future).

    Also, TSMC only has issues with 28nm. Most of Apple's SoCs are still 40nm. I'm not convinced that Samsung is really ahead of TSMC is any meaningful way. Sure, Apple does have 1-2 28nm SoCs, but I don't think they are for the really high volume products.

    I think a more important point is that switching fabs takes a long time. You cannot simply take a project and move to another fab overnight. You'd probably still have 2-3 years of stuff in the pipeline targeting the old fab.

    DK
     
  9. UniversalTruth

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    Strong Demand Causes TSMC’s 28nm Output to Exceed Projection

     
  10. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    This seems to be happening right now as both AMD and Nvidia have delayed their respective GPU updates until at least the 4th quarter 2013.
     
  11. jimbo75

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    Has Nvidia admitted that or is it still just a rumour?
     
  12. Alexko

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    I was just thinking about that yesterday, I don't think NVIDIA has communicated anything about their graphics roadmap (beyond GK110) in a long time. There's this:

    [​IMG]

    But it's old, and there hasn't been anything since. And it probably refers to production and not commercial release, since every architecture on this slide that was actually released was released a year later.
     
  13. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    That road map is outdated Maxwell is already shown to be in 2014 when the 20nm process becomes available.

    http://wccftech.com/nvidia-roadmap-confirms-20nm-maxwell-gpus-2014-kepler-refresh-arrives-1h-2013/
     
  14. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Still a rumor (actually mostly silence) but with AMD delaying until 2013Q4 and the discrete AIB market decreasing I don't see why Nvidia would want to spend money they might not recover.

    This link: http://wccftech.com/nvidia-roadmap-confirms-20nm-maxwell-gpus-2014-kepler-refresh-arrives-1h-2013/ states that Nvidia would refresh Kepler in 1H2013 but unless we start to here some rumors of new silicon by the end of March I don't see that happening.
     
  15. Alexko

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    I could be wrong, but I don't think Nvidia has officially stated that Maxwell would be on 20nm.
     
  16. jimbo75

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    Hm cheers I never realised that. Still there is a chance of something in-between like AMD appear to be going for. Almost suicide of them to wait that long surely, I'm certainly thinking Maxwell (or more to the point 20nm) is more end of 2014 than start.
     
  17. jimbo75

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    That's a good point, but based on the huge projected perf/watt gains it's the only thing that makes sense.
     
  18. Alexko

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    Clarification: it was probably the initial plan, but I'm not sure it's the current one, and I don't believe NVIDIA has made any definitive statement either way.
     

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