While the big blue juggernaut continues to plow forward with yet another full range of high-end processors, AMD is looking to regroup around a different manufacturing model. With rumour set to become reality any time soon, KitGuru dons a bee keeper outfit and skirts around a Taiwanese FAB.
Take any of the recent stories that involve FABs in general and Taiwanese ones in particular – and you might be forgiven for thinking that there is only ‘general activity’ happening. Put the stories together in a line and you get something different.
When asked about the situation, we were told that AMD classified it as ‘rumour’ and followed on with the ‘ we do not comment on rumour’ mantra.
OK, let’s go with the ‘lay out the stories and see what happens’ mantra:-
- Around 23rd November, rumours coming out of Taiwan said that AMD was looking at foundry options and was not happy with Global Foundries
- At the same time, Jen Hsun commits to TSMC saying that it is the perfect place to produce nVidia’s next-gen products. AMD’s dilly-dallying, combined with nVidia’s commitment resulted in stories about the vast majority of TSMC wafers being allocated to nVidia and Qualcomm
- On 11th April, KitGuru reported on TSMC’s expansion programme and the way it would create 4,500 new high tech jobs while, at the same time, doubling capacity for the new production processes
- On 16th April we reported that Global Foundries was trying to make a move on Taiwanese FAB ProMOS with an offer of close to $1Bn, but that TSMC was interested for $847m and that this was a more likely sale
- Just one day later and we were able to report that Qualcomm was not making love-eyes at Global Foundries while nVidia was also shopping for alternatives
Right now, the future seems pretty clear.
AMD will move lock, stock and two smoking product lines into TSMC as more of a partner than ever before, while nVidia and Qualcomm will harbour grudges and move elsewhere.
KitGuru says: Expect to see full blown APU production from TSMC in the near future. If the next XBox chip is not made there, we’d be surprised. Can’t be sure about the next PlayStation chip. We heard from a trusted source that Sony would move to AMD around 12 months ago – but you can’t be 100% sure until you actually see the chips rolling.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.