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Thread: TSMC and Nvidia Problems

  1. #1
    8-bit overflow
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    Jun 2009
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    Question TSMC and Nvidia Problems

    I've seen a couple of articles elsewhere that I'd be interested in hearing Charlie's take on. Both articles are by Theo Valich.

    TSMC's 40nm yields are still "f****d up

    This article basically says that ATI pays per chip received so yields don't effect them but Nvidia pays by wafer so they're being hurt bad.

    Question: Was paying by wafer strictly Nvidia's choice when making the contract or is there some TSMC design certification process which only ATI passed in order to get to pay by chip?

    nVidia GT300 - GeForce GTX 380 yields are sub-30%

    This mentions bumpgate (loved that series of articles Charlie did) and says that Nvidia yields are in the 20% range. I was wondering if Charlie had heard similar numbers.

  2. #2
    Administrator
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    Feb 2009
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    Both posts are laughable. His MO is to get tidbits he hears on other sites and extrapolate out, sometimes even in a relatively sane way. GT300 has not taped out yet, or at least has not done so long enough ago (last time I heard was ~1 week), to get silicon back.

    I haven't asked about current yields on TSMC 40, but yield on a process is determined not just by the process, but by design of the chip (redundancies), die size, target frequencies, target power and hundreds of other things. To say a process has a yield of X is nonsense.

    The yield story looks to be nothing more than a subtle re-write of the 4770 article I did the other day combined with some of the other rumors floating around.

    One other thing there, from what I understand, and I may be wrong on this, but I really doubt I am, TSMC won't do a per-chip price unless they are heavily involved in the layout and can estimate the yield going in. They were not involved in the design and layout of any ATI or NV 40nm stuff as far as I know. COuple that with low low yields on the process, and a per-chip price would be utterly stupid.

    Both 'scoops' go against the way fabs work. Wait a month or three and you will see who has what. If NV has chips, TSMC didn't make them, and Dell hasn't seen them yet.

    -Charlie

  3. #3
    Interesting numbers, but ... brightsideofthenews ... ? I'm used not to trust them anything.
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