Items tagged with TSMC

Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to 20nm... Read more...
Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to... Read more...
For over 10 years, the desktop and mobile graphics space has been dominated by two players: Nvidia and AMD/ATI. After 3dfx collapsed, there was a brief period of time when it looked as though Imagination Technologies might establish itself as a third option. Ultimately, that didn't happen -- the company's tile-based rendering solution, Kyro, failed to gain much mass-market support and faded after two generations. Now, there's a flurry of evidence to suggest that Imagination Technologies plans to re-enter PC market, but from the opposite direction. Rather than building expensive discrete solutions,... Read more...
Leading Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturer Soitec published an updated roadmap today, detailing how it plans to make fully-depleted SOI technology (FD-SOI) available through the 14nm process node, but there's some question as to the degree of industry support for the company's technology. In theory, FD-SOI could solve some of the scaling problems semiconductor foundries are facing, but the associated cost and difficulty of implementation are still unknowns. "Each new generation of technology faces unique challenges, and we currently are at an inflection point where we cannot rely solely... Read more...
Intel made headlines last year when it announced that it would fab 22nm products for FPGA designer Achronix. This week, the company has unveiled an additional 22nm partner. Santa Clara will also be building parts for Tabula and will build that company's new Spacetime microprocessors. Tabula claims that its new chip "uses time as a third dimension to deliver unmatched capability and affordability. Tabula achieves this breakthrough by combining the Spacetime hardware that dynamically reconfigures logic, memory, and interconnect at multi-GHz rates with the Spacetime compiler that manages this ultra-rapid... Read more...
Reports from multiple foundries suggest that the industry has had trouble ramping 28nm production, despite early bullish promises and repeated assurances. The situation is something of a high-tech 'I told you so.' As we've previously covered, each new process node has been an increasingly difficult shift as manufacturers have had to ramp new production technologies to build smaller parts. After TSMC's well-publicized problems ramping 40nm, it seemed unlikely that any foundry would be able to painlessly shift down to the 28nm node. Both GlobalFoundries and TSMC countered these rumors by detailing... Read more...
Five of the largest and most advanced semiconductor manufacturers have signed a joint development and research agreement in what might be a record-breaking partnership. It's not unusual to see IBM, Samsung, and GloFo pairing up—all three companies are part of the Common Platform Alliance--but the presence of Intel and TSMC is noteworthy. The five companies have committed to a $4.4B investment in New York State that's intended to create 6900 jobs, including 2500 high-tech positions in Albany, East Fishkill, Utica, and Canandaigua (the author's home). As some of you will recall, GlobalFoundries... Read more...
Samsung and Apple have been fighting legal battles in Asia, Europe and the US, with the majority of victories thus far going to Apple. Samsung has decided to retaliate on its own turf and is planning to ask Korean courts to ban the iPhone 5 as soon as the device is launched. At present, the two companies are engaged in 23 separate legal battles across much of the developed world and more cases are expected. At this point, the two companies are very nearly engaged in a corporate version of world war. "Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its... Read more...
GlobalFoundries and Samsung announced today that they intend to synchronize their 28nm high-performance/low-leakage production facilities. This new agreement follows a 2010 collaboration between GloFo, Samsung, IBM, and STMicroelectronics in which all four firms agreed to cooperate in building out their low-power 28nm process nodes. One of the differences between modern foundries and Intel (or, historically, AMD) is that foundries typically offer the same process in a variety of flavors. GlobalFoundries, like TSMC, offers 40nm production in both a generic (G) and a low-power (LP) version, with... Read more...
For a CPU that hasn't seen the light of day, there's a great deal of debate surrounding Apple's A6—and the suggestion that it may not appear until later in 2012. The A6 is a complex bit of hardware; rumors indicate that the chip is a quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU built on 28nm at TSMC and utilizing the latter's 3D fabrication technology. We've previously discussed Intel's own 3D tech; TSMC's is presumably based on similar concepts.The CPU's competitive performance is surprisingly unclear. While the Cortex-A9 is a proven design, Apple's A6 will be one of the first 28nm chips on the market. That... Read more...
Up until now, Samsung has handled all of Apple's CPU manufacturing needs, including the A4 and A5 processor. New rumors, however, suggest that TSMC has been tapped for the company's next-generation A6. Apple hasn't committed to actually purchasing chips at this point, but has handed the Taiwanese foundry what it needs to test product yields. Reuters quotes an unidentified source as saying: "TSMC has got all the authorisation and details ready. Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate."   TSMC has refused to formally comment on the issue but the number of semiconductor... Read more...
It's only been two weeks since Apple and Samsung jointly sued each other for alleged patent infringement, but relations between the two companies have apparently already turned ice cold. Rumors in April suggested that Apple was discussing an arrangement with TSMC (there's been no official confirmation on either side). Gus Richard, an analyst at Piper Jaffray has since proposed that Intel itself may want a piece of this particular pie. It makes strategic sense for both companies. The combination of Apple's growing demand and market share in smart phones and tablets gives Intel a position in these... Read more...
Both TSMC and GlobalFoundries have released new information on their respective plans for the next few years. TSMC has announced its intention to double its 2011 R&D capital expenditure to $700 million, while it simultaneously spends $7.8B over the next year in order to increase its manufacturing capacity by approximately 20 percent. This is presumedly over and above what the company has spent thus far on constructing its new "gigafab" foundry, Fab 15. TSMC began work on Fab 15 last summer, but the plant isn't scheduled to come online until 2012; TSMC is most likely building out capacity at... Read more...
At yesterday's Common Platform technology day, IBM and the other members of the Common Platform Initiative made a major announcement. While plans to use gate-first technology at the 32nm/28nm node remain unchanged, the coalition will move to gate-last technology when it makes the jump to 20nm production. As semiconductor manufacturing has moved to ever-smaller process nodes, the difficulty of managing each transition has increased markedly. As a result, the major foundries have adopted divers methods of improving product yields and minimizing gate leakage. Examples of these methods include AMD's... Read more...
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