Report: TSMC padding 65nm lead over UMC, Chartered

June 8, 2007 – New orders for more of TSMC’s 65nm capacity from Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Corp., which are eyeing increased demand from the mobile phone market, puts TSMC even further ahead of rivals seeking to add customers for their leading-edge offerings, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

Qualcomm has wireless chips in pilot production at 65nm and will ramp to volumes by nest year, according to a VP quoted by the paper, and the company will “likely” prototype chipset designs for its new Snapdragon platform in November. Broadcom, which uses TSMC’s 0.13-micron capacity for most of its chips, also is rolling out new products by year’s end that will shift its business to TSMC’s 65nm process, the paper noted.

Industry watchers estimate that 65nm processes will account for about 5% of TSMC’s sales in 2Q, up from 1% in 1Q, the paper noted. TSMC is said to have widened its lead since late last year thanks to a majority of business from major fabless houses. NVidia, TI, Freescale, Altera, and AMD/ATI are also using the firm’s 65nm technology, according to the paper.

Rival foundry UMC, meanwhile, recently completed 65nm validation for TI, but has seen orders grow “only moderately,” the paper noted, though adding that UMC expects a surge of “significant” 65nm orders to come later this year or in early 2008. The company’s major 65nm customer, Xilinx, is said to have committed to working with Toshiba for leading-edge foundry work.

Elsewhere, Singapore’s Chartered Semiconductor has deals to provide 65nm/SOI technology to AMD and Microsoft, but is trailing its competitors with its CMOS 65nm process, which is expected to be ready by year’s end. The paper suggested that Chartered is considered mostly a “second-source” foundry, picking up new business at leading-edge nodes only when TSMC and UMC are booked up.


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