Just a month ago TSMC started mass production at 28nm, and despite the unstable market climate orders are starting to pile up. TSMC has never seen such high demand for a new process and suffers from capacity problems.
TSMC is currently the only company able to ship circuits at 28nm to customers, and there is a record amount queueing for the new technology. In normal cases it would have been AMD(ATI) and NVIDIA that would have battled for the capacity of a new process, Together with a few smaller company. Among clients that wants to access the technology we have Altera, AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Xilinx whle Broadcom, LSI Logic and STMicroelectronics also are potential customers.
According to information from May 89 different circuit designs coming, more than the total number of designs at 40nm and we can only assume the number is higher today. TSMC has also raised the price of the new technology due to the high demand. The 28nm technology will cover 2 percent of the company income in 2011, unlike the 1 percent it had earlier predicted.
From placing an order at TSMC it will take six months to get the wafers delivered, this is three times longer than regular two months it takes to make a wafer. The company has capacity to make 20,000 wafers per month, but in Q1 2012 it will open the new Fab 15. It will be the third fab making 300mm wafer and then expects to sport a production capacity of 100,000 wafers.
Despite the current world economy the demand for the latest technology is higher than ever before
This also confirms that 28nm availability will be poor, or non-existing this year. There are rumors that AMD will launch a new series of graphics cards on December 9th, but it is most likely just a paper launch. Either way, times are looking up for TSMC and the semiconductor industry, even if the world economy will stay wobbly for some time into the future.