TSMC Fabbing 40nm Products

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News Posted: Mon, Mar 24 2008 5:13 PM

While everyone is still “oooohing” and “ahhhhing” at the raw power and efficiency provided by 45nm chips such as Intel's Penryn lineup, TSMC was looking forward to the next big thing: 40nm.

“Following successful tapeouts and customer announcements of its 45nm process technology in 2007, TSMC has moved forward quickly and developed an enhanced 40LP and 40G process that delivers industry-leading performance with 40nm density. The 45nm node provided double the gate density of 65nm, while the new 40nm node features manufacturing innovations that enable its LP and G processes to deliver a 2.35 raw gate density improvement of the 65nm offering. The transition from 45nm to 40nm low power technology reduces power scaling up to 15 percent.”

We're certainly excited about the possibility of 40nm GPUs and CPUs.



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won't the later Nehalem and Westmere cores be 32nm? and Sandybridge 22nm? So I would think if Intel had those planned out then they already have the architecture on the table...!?

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turtle replied on Mon, Mar 24 2008 9:41 PM
The part I think is exciting is that if you figure a shrink from 55nm to 40nm is ~30% die size and power savings (Which it should be), then whatever improvements AMD/ATi is doing from RV670->RV770 they could do over again while retaining a similar die size on 40nm, or create RV770 at the same die size as what RV670 currently is, as the difference is almost exactly ~30%.

Example:
RV670 (55nm) 192mm2
RV770 (55nm)~250mm2
(~30% larger)
RV770 (40nm)=192mm2

or

You could roughly double the transistors of RV670 (666M/100W) and come up with a part the size of RV770 (~900M/135W) that would be 1.222B transistors and consume the same amount of power...

TSMC has stated they are taking orders for prototypes on four dates: April, June, August, October and December. If you figure a good prototype (like RV670 and RV770) that were good on first spin, plus ramping, you could see a 40nm part by end of this year, if not early next.

With RV770 supposedly coming out by end of June, is there anyone that doubts AMD will send away for a 40nm design for whatever they're cooking by the August cutoff? They supposedly have been testing 45nm since last year with a 2008 release planned, and I wouldn't doubt them going straight to 40nm considering the easy flexibility and dumb shrink of the half node.

I find it doubtful Nvidia, if launching a 55/65nm high-end refresh is Q3/Q4, will make those cutoffs...Perhaps the later two. That still gives AMD a couple month head start if not more, and could realistically have a chip out on the market competing with a similar number of transistors (1B+) at roughly HALF the die size, if GT200 is 65nm. Imagine such a part in an X2 configuration.

While speculative on my part...I do find the possibilities interesting. 8-)
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frg1 replied on Mon, Mar 24 2008 9:59 PM

 intersting indeed cant wait to see what the future holds

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AjayD replied on Tue, Mar 25 2008 1:26 AM
    Should your speculation prove to be true turtle, it would appear Nvidia is in store for some serious competition and not just from Intel. Hopefully AMD does decide to jump straight to 40nm chips, this will offer a huge increase in processing power while allowing for a reduction in overall power consumption and heat. It would be nice to see an AMD/ATi GPU that is actually better than the best Nvidia has to offer.

 

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frg1 replied on Tue, Mar 25 2008 1:45 AM

yeah if that did happen nvidia would also have no choice but to come up with something new and quit releasing the same thing over and over again 

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Wasn't 32nm the next shrink? 

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frg1 replied on Tue, Mar 25 2008 8:04 AM

 i thought that nobodys been able to go to 32nm yet or atleast havent announced theve been able to

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AjayD replied on Tue, Mar 25 2008 11:08 AM

    Intel's Westmere and Sandy Bridge processors, based on 32nm die geometries, will be introduced in 2009 - 2010. Since they are due out in a relatively short amount of time, that would mean Intel is already capable of producing 32nm chips and is simply working on refining the technology for its release.

    In response to your question willardcw4, Nehalem will be based on 45nm die geometries, while both Westmere and Sandy Bridge will be 32nm with Sandy Bridge later shrinking to a 22nm architecture sometime in 2011.

 

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