Life begins at 40nm
NVIDIA CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, isn't one to mince his words, so declaring that the graphics firm would not be using GlobalFoundries as a manufacturing partner sent a clear message. To TSMC that is.
In a recent interview with CNET, the NVIDIA chief firmly brushed off any suggestion the company might solve its undersupply issues by turning to GloFo for help, declaring, "Globalfoundries is AMD's fab. Our strategy is TSMC." Which certainly all sounds rather decisive on the surface of things.
But scratch that surface a bit and it appears a worried Huang is simply saying what he knows TSMC wants to hear. In other words, he's likely only posturing to protect NVIDIA's supply chain.
Recently, announcing bumper financial results for his firm, Huang made no secret of the fact NVIDIA could have sold even more GPUs this past quarter if it hadn't been for wafer allocation issues from its long-time Taiwanese manufacturing partner, which cut back during the recession to protect itself.
Currently 40nm is roughly only about five per cent or less of TSMC's wafer production, and NVIDIA isn't the only company to be worried. AMD has its share of allocation woes for its 5800 series ahead too.
Aside from the fact sources say TSMC still has yield issues on 40nm, the other main problem has to do with a particular process variant known as 40nm G technology, needed to make current GPU models.
TSMC has 40nm G, whilst GlobalFoundries currently does not, with its near-term focus on low power 40nm offerings instead. That's not to say the AMD spin-off fab won't hit the G-spot at some point in the near future, but it has publicly stated its current focus is on the 28nm node for graphics.