April 5, 2007 – A surge in demand from graphics customers for Vista-enabled chips has strained production capacities at Taiwan foundry giants TSMC and UMC, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
Nvidia and AMD/ATI have both increased their orders to the foundries, essentially doubling their contract volume from the previous quarter, when they were cautious following tepid demand for the new Microsoft operating system, the paper noted, adding that price battles between AMD and Intel are also sparking PC replacement and upgrade activity.
Nvidia uses UMC for its G72 chip utilizing 90nm process technologies, and TSMC for its upgraded G78 65nm chip, the paper notes. TSMC is expected to have 80nm versions (G84 and G86) ready sometime in 2Q07, the paper noted.
AMD/ATI also is utilizing TSMC’s 80nm process for its high-end R600 chip, but is also increasing orders to UMC for its RV516 and RS535 due to an anticipated delay in rolling out the 80nm chip.
In addition, suppliers including Texas Instruments and Qualcomm are also perceived to be raising levels of demand, the paper noted.
The flush of activity is likely to result in 15% revenue gains for both foundries this quarter.