Design Houses Ask For TSMC`s Leading Edge Process Capacity | CENS.com – The Taiwan Economic News

Design Houses Ask For TSMC`s Leading Edge Process Capacity | CENS.com – The Taiwan Economic News.

Taipei, March 29, 2010 (CENS)-During a recent high-profile technology forum in Taipei, executives of Broadcom, Altera, Qualcomm and Nvida visited Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to ask for more leading-edge foundry capacities for their contracts.

According to people familiar with the visits, these design houses were desperate for leading-edge foundry processes, notably 65/55 and 45/40 node, for their latest chips and asked TSMC to complete installation of the tools as soon as possible. TSMC, however, has declined to make any comment on their visits.

Industry watchers pointed out that strained production capacities at foundry suppliers had begun taking toll on shipments of design houses.

To fix capacity supply shortage, TSMC has pledged to spend US$4.8 billion to boost its leading-edge process capacities throughout this year. Although No.1 foundry supplier has begun building new production lines, tool suppliers are not able to deliver equipment for the production in short term, leaving TSMC`s operating 300-mm fabs inundated with flooding orders.

TSMC Chairman and Chief Executive Morris Chang, according to insiders, has given these heavyweight customers his word that the company will construct new production lines on the double so that some new capacities would be available for them next quarter.

According to chip-making equipment suppliers, after TSMC had shot the trouble caused by low output of its 40-nm process Nvidia immediately secured a huge number of TSMC`s 40-nm capacity for its chips, including DirectX10.1 graphics chip and the supporting Fermi chip for DirectX11. Consequently, many other design houses like AMD-ATI, Broadcomm and Altera have been wrestling with scant TSMC supplies.

Robust demands have forced TSMC to extend lead time for next quarter to 10 to 12 weeks from normal eight to 10 weeks. The company expects orders to persistently keep its capacities running at 100% rate in the third quarter this year.

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