Graphics professionals waiting for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to port its Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture over to its FirePro series need not wait any longer (sort of -- more on that in a moment). The Sunnyvale chip designer on Wednesday announced the immediate availability of its FirePro W600 graphics card, the company's first professional videocard to feature its GCN design and a 28nm production technology.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have underestimated the challenges involved with churning out 28nm parts, or perhaps the company is simply inundated with orders. In the end, it doesn't really matter what the problem is, as far as clients go, and when Nvidia reportedly threatened to place orders with TSMC's competitors, suddenly the GPU maker was bumped to the front of the line.
Trouble with TSMC's (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) 28nm process technology could force Nvidia and Qualcomm to seek out other foundries. In fact, Nvidia reportedly has already started sampling its chips on Samsung's 28nm process technology, representing a significant shift in behavior and a potential huge loss for TSMC, which is currently the sole provider of chips for Nvidia.
AMD's already released high-end and low-end versions of its new Radeon 7000 lineup, but we've barely heard anything about Nvidia's upcoming Kepler GPUs. When will the first 6xx products launch? Heck, what season will Kepler launch in? Your guess is as good as ours. (At least there are spec rumors floating around.) We know one thing for certain, however; the yields of the 28nm wafers used to make Kepler GPUs have been horrible, and it's going to cost Nvidia big in the upcoming months.
It’s CES time! You know what that means: a ton of new, awesome looking tech is going to be unveiled this week, some of which will never actually see the light of day, and the things that actually end up launching won’t hit the streets for a while yet. Before we dive too deeply into the future, let’s take a look at something that’s actually in the here and now. Today, Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards actually started shipping. Early adopters rejoice!
A German website is reporting AMD is hard at work trying to deliver its first products using 28nm graphics chips by the end of the year. If everything goes to plan, AMD will have the parts ready in the second week of December, and perhaps even before the 9th of that month. It will be a slow rollout at first, with volume shipments expected to come a few weeks later, likely in early 2012.
Nvidia recently shed some more light on its upcoming Tegra 3/Kal-El system-on-chip (SoC), revealing the presence of a fifth core in what was considered to be a quad-core chip until then. But unlike the Santa Clara-based graphics company, not everyone is focusing on squeezing in more and more processor cores into their mobile chips. Qualcomm, for one, has very different plans.
GlobalFoundries and Samsung this week announced plans to extend their collaboration agreement and synchronize global semiconductor fabrication facilities to build high performance, low leakage 28nm chips based on High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) technology. The technology takes aim at mobile applications and, according to Samsung, begins to blur the line between mobile and desktop silicon.
Remember all the hoopla leading up to Nvidia's Fermi launch? We were teased with leaked photos, benchmarks, and several delays due to reported defects. Nvidia eventually ironed out whatever bugs it needed to in order to get Fermi to market in the form of a GTX 480, a fast videocard with a group of stream processors disabled. It also ran hot and a little bit loud, ultimately leading us to declare the the GTX 580 "the real Fermi" (see our review here). We're expecting a much smoother rollout to Fermi's successor, though it appears delays are still part of the game.
Starting in 2011, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin volume production of its 28nm manufacturing process, Digitimes reports.
TSMC has been working hard to get its 28nm equipment up to snuff at its Fab 12 in the Hsinchu Science Park. By the end of 2009, TSMC rated its 28nm equipment at less than a 50 percent maturity level. That number now stands at over 90 percent, which basically means that all the proper adjustments have been made. Typically the smaller the manufacturing process, the lower the maturity level, and then it becomes a series of tweaks and alterations to get everything in order.
There are already numerous clients lined up for TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process, including Altera, which plans to tap into 28nm for its low-cost and mid-range product lines. Other clients include AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Xilinx.