A couple of days after the company announced fourth quarter earnings; TSMC is now openly talking about the success of its 28nm process.
In what seems to be an attempt to curb initial concerns found with 28nm and lower than expected Q4 earnings, Morris Chang, CEO of TSMC, has spoken to the media about just how well it's getting along with the shiny 28nm process wafers.
According to info published at Xbit Labs, Chang is forecasting a rapid ramp in 28nm wafer production, eventually amounting to 10 percent of the company's total wafer revenue in the second half of 2012.
He also states that things look better now than they did for the 40/45nm nodes :"Defect density and progress is ahead of schedule and is better than 40/45nm at the corresponding stage of the ramp-up".
If true, this means it will be a bumper harvest for the boys at TSMC during the whole of 2012, but if not, your CEO has just set you up for a very big fall. Analysts will enjoy playing this game.
Still, TSMC has much to be pleased about today, in particular with IFS 2012. TSMC was painted as the de facto leader in 28nm technology for fabless IC houses today, at least according to Mike Bryant, CTO of Future Horizons, in Electronics Weekly.
The competition, it is said, isn't in a good place either. While Samsung's foundries cater to very high volume demand, you have UMC and SMIC to pick up the leftovers from TSMC. Even GlobalFoundries was all but discarded.
From what we have seen so far, GlobalFoundries is costing AMD money the latter can't really afford, as it is still having trouble with both 28nm and 32nm nodes – precisely what drove AMD to TSMC in the first place, as the yields on GloFo's 28nm process were nowhere as near the ones needed for a successful first run at the market.
GlobalFoundries has turned to Samsung and IBM for help with this, but results are still forthcoming.
We wonder if GloFo gets its calendars from the Mayans because 2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the spin-off.
All in all, it looks like TSMC will be in a very good position this year, one that will allow the company to further invest in new nodes and expand its current capacity to deal with future clients, such as the rumoured hook-up with Apple which, we believe, will take capacity TSMC does not currently have.