NVIDIA: 28nm yields not as good as anticipated
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told investors during yesterday's earnings call that TSMC is doing fabulously with its 28nm ramp. Yields on 28nm wafers are higher at the same point in the cycle than they were for the 40nm node, but unfortunately not as good as the company was anticipating three months ago.
Huang calmly explained that TSCM is "doing fabulously" with the 28 nanometer ramp, particularly compared to the 40 nanometer processes that were used on its prior "Fermi" generation of GPUs. The yields on 28 nanometer wafers are actually higher at the same point in the cycle than they were at TSMC for the 40 nanometer node, which had its share of issues, but the yields for 28 nanometer are nonetheless not as good as the company was anticipating three months ago.
Equally significantly for Nvidia, the number of design wins it has for its "Kepler" series of embedded and discrete GPUs is higher than the design wins for the previous generation Fermi chips, so there is larger demand bumping up against constrained supply.
"We're ramping our Kepler GPUs very hard, but we could use more wafers," Huang said on the call. "Our expectation is that yields will improve, and as output increases, our costs will go down.
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