CHIP FOUNDRY TSMC has seen its revenues surge by 25 percent to $4.5bn as demand for its leading edge 28nm process node continues unabated.
TSMC - foundry to some of the largest chip vendors including AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm - reported bumper first quarter 2013 results. The firm saw revenues grow by 25 percent from the same period last year to $4.5bn, while profits rose by 18.4 percent to $1.3bn.
With TSMC expected to bring new process nodes on line as its customers demand ever smaller geometries for power savings, the firm said its 28nm process node was one of the reasons it exceeded revenue forecasts. Last year chip designers such as Apple and Qualcomm were falling over each other trying to secure production capacity at TSMC, such is the Taiwanese firm's lead over its rivals.
However TSMC CEO Morris Chang said his biggest challenge was to keep the fabs that are not producing chips on the leading edge process node running at full capacity. He said, "Keeping the mainstream fabs full is almost as important as advancing the leading edge. [...] Why do I talk about speciality [leading edge process nodes] technology? It helps the mainstream fabs stay full, hopefully."
TSMC also talked about its upcoming 20nm process node, with AMD already having said that it is waiting for the firm's next generation process node.
Even though Chang said keeping mainstream fabs - those that fab chips using larger geometries - is a challenge, it is unlikely that the firm will have much spare capacity at 28nm, given the number and size of its customers eager to use what is now a mature process node. µ