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Manufacturing/Packaging??

TSMC to benefit from AMD's changes in strategy?

Posted: 25 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:APU? 28nm production? manufacturing process?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD) roadmap is about to see some significant changes according to sources at the company.

Online reports have surfaced suggesting the company could scrap its 28nm APU production at Globalfoundries Inc. in order to move the manufacturing to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Sources at the company have confirmed with EE Times that roadmap changes are "imminent" and that "28nm schedules aren't what we wanted." Whether those changes pertain to a switch of manufacturing partners, however, has yet to be fully substantiated.

"We will have a roadmap update in the very near term," said a source at AMD though he stressed that the firm had always kept its manufacturing options open.

"We did not get specific about our manufacturing partner for 28nm APUs for 2012, we have always said that both Globalfoundries and TSMC are strong manufacturing partners and we reserve rights to keep our options open," he said. All of AMD's 28nm discrete GPUs are already being made at TSMC.

Another source at the company told EETimes he was not surprised to hear the murmurs of manufacturing changes surface, but said any public announcements about such a change in the roadmap would be considered highly sensitive and would likely be broken to financial analysts first.

EETimes has discovered that several analysts have been invited to a recently scheduled meeting on Dec. 5th.

"Changes are coming," said In-Stat's Jim McGregor, saying a change in manufacturing partners would not surprise him in the slightest, especially with relationships between Globalfoundries and AMD growing increasingly strained.

"AMD has had so many problems with Globalfoundries this year, from low yields to low ramps and high cost," he said adding, "The relationship between the two does not seem to be providing benefit to either company at the moment."

An agreement which expires on January 1, has meant that AMD only pays Globalfoundries for viable 32nm dies, which has a financial loss for Globalfoundries based on the difficulties it has had achieving high yields. After January 1, AMD would have to go back to paying for every wafer, successful or not, something the firm may not be very keen to do.

McGregor said that should the 28nm Globalfoundries made APUs really be scrapped, it would cause a "world of hurt" for AMD, which would be left a generation behind its competition for most of 2012, making AMD even less significant in the market.


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