It has emerged that chip firm AMD - because of its commitments to TSMC - can't give all of the work it wants to to Global Foundries (GloFo). Nor can the AMD spin off GloFo pick up all the work it would like to from AMD. For various reasons.
Earlier, we revealed that GloFo will be producing 32 nanometre Fusion processors for AMD, but AMD, in its ATI iteration, is committed to using TSMC for ATI parts. TSMC is currently on a 40 nanometre process and the 28 nanometre process is a way away. Digitimes said yesterday that TSMC is committed to producing 40 nano bulk stuff for AMD-ATI.
And, as TechEye revealed a while ago, AMD is on allocation at TSMC because the fabs are full up and can't produce anymore, forcing the Taiwanese company to commit to digging up more ground to satisfy its customers. Which will take quite a while. GloFo has some capacity left. We would not be totally shocked if it started fabbing Nvidia chips soon. If you've got demand for your product and your suppliers are full up, you still need to get the chips made. It's called the supply chain, stupid.
AMD has several families of Fusion CPU/GPUs and they are sampling out of Glofo (Global Foundries) and TSMC, it has emerged.
One source told TechEye today that TSMC wants to hold a steady grip on ATI-AMD materials and will, as Digitimes said, produce bulk 40 nanometre stuff.
The really embarrassing thing, of course, is that AMD still has a share in Global Foundries (GloFo), and can't get out of its relationship with TSMC because of certain contracts.
What's equally embarrassing is that Intel has now a close relationship with TSMC but luckily the "Chinese Walls" prevent details from leaking between one process line and another.
This is a battle to the death, obviously.
We quizzed AMD about the situation. A representative told TechEye: "AMD has previously disclosed that its Llano APU would be manufactured at GlobalFoundries on the 32nm SOC process. At the same time, we noted that AMD's Ontario APU would be based on the highly synthesisable (ie: SOC or bulk process) Bobcat core, but the manufacturing process and foundry were not disclosed. AMD will be making no further disclosures at this time."
So that would be TSMC, then. Highly unlikely to be SMIC or UMC...
GloFo and TSMC are now bitter rivals and AMD is caught between the two of them, in a vice like grip. Intel is watching on the so-called "sidelines" trying desperately to put together a Larrabee answer to the various AMD shenanigans and Fusion families.
Sources told TechEye late today that TSMC had deliberately leaked details of AMD's plans to put a spanner in GloFo's works.