TSMC Begins 20nm Volume Production Finally – Next Gen GPUs At This Node Are Now A Possibility

Usman Pirzada

Its about damn time. Volume production at the 20nm Node for the entire Industry has officially begun over at TSMC. Now don't get me wrong, TSMC has been working on the 20nm node since early February but that work was almost exclusively prioritized for Apple and the creation of its 20nm SoCs. Now they have finally begun full fledged volume production for the rest of the Industry - and that means Nvidia and AMD too.

30mm 450mm Silicon Wafer30mm-450mm Wafers

20nm Volume Production Finally Begins at TSMC - 20nm Nvidia and AMD GPUs become a real possibility

Now, one could argue that TSMC was neglecting its other customers, but the fact remains that Apple is the worlds second largest brand and was quite recently the largest brand (now overtaken by Google Inc.). It is because of this that the profit motive did not allow TSMC to cater for its other customers at anything but a normal pace (Apple's was accelerated). However the good news is, that Fab 12 and 14 will now soon be fully employed in 20nm Production. It has revealed plans of moving on to 16nm FinFET by 2015. However so far, the majority (around 85%) of the production capability was employed in 28nm Node, specifically the HKMG (High-k Metal Gate) but that should now change very quickly as it begins taping out 20nm dies.

TSMC's share in the dGPU market is that of 100% (listed as 99.99%) and 80% of APU market, which basically means that the Red and Green Duopoly will have to wait for TSMC to take its time before any major node jump. It is because of these reasons that Nvidia's 20nm GPUs were actually delayed from their origina schedule. However, this by no means translates into 20nm GPUs appearing next month. No; realistically speaking the closest you can optimistically hope for 20nm GPUs to come into the market is by very late 2014. But hey, who knows, Nvidia and AMD might surprise us with an intermediary product on the 20nm node before then.

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