TSMC to commence 28nm production in early 2010
After the 45/40nm node, most we’re expecting TSMC to move on to 32nm where it would also introduce its high-k/metal gate offering. This has been changed and instead TSMC will focus on the half-node 28nm where it will for the first time introduce high-k/metal gates. This is one half-node later than many competitors, the IBM group most importantly.
TSMC will instead offer the full-node 32nm as a lower-cost alternative to 40m, while 28nm will become its main focus with a full offering with one option of regular SiON (silicon oxynitride) and one option of high-k/metal gate. The high-k/metal gate option will also be available as one low-power and one high-performance process. Both NVIDIA and AMD will use the latter.
Pushing its high-k/metal gate technology back another half-node means that the process will not be ready for market until 2010, but this points to both AMD and NVIDIA having the option to launch 28nm GPUs in about 18 months. That is if they don’t decide to rent some space at IBM and hand them out at 32nm as soon as late 2009.