AMD was let down by GlobalFoundries

Fabless chip outfit AMD has had to lower its sales guidance because its chum GlobalFoundries (GloFo) can’t cut cut the mustard with its next-generation, 32-nanometer Llano processors.

Word on the street is that Globalfoundries has not got its 32nm yields high enough and will not do so until after the end of the Mayan calender in 2012.

For AMD this is the sort of headache where you have to shut yourself in a darkened room and hope the kid in the next flat stopped hitting his toy truck against the wall and screaming.

Supplies of AMD’s 32nm accelerated processor units (APUs) were supposed to be flowing like the toilets in the Rat and Handgun until the company’s Trinity platform appears in the first half of 2012.

Unfolding AMD’s product roadmap, Trinity APUs will succeed the Llano generation’s A8 series of performance desktop products, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2012. Then Weatherford and Richland will come later and replace Llano chips aimed at the mainstream segment.

Those three platforms will come with Piledriver, which uses AMD’s post-K10 Bulldozer architecture and was supposed to tackle piles once and for all .

AMD is not saying much other than there are lower-than-expected volume production of AMD’s 32nm APUs.

According to PC Mag,  GloFo was having a bad case of trouble with yields not improving at the pace both the foundry and AMD had wanted. It is also taking too long for GloFo to get its product to AMD.

AMD was hoping that it could be aggressive with Llano and push the 40nm Brazos APUs for ultrathin notebooks introduced around the same time. However, the move to the 32nm node hadn’t happened fast enough.

What is pulling AMD’s nadgers out of the fire is that it is getting good results out of its 28nm Bobcat-based APUs which are supposed to be heading for the ultra-portable market in the first half of 2012. Some of that production though is coming from TSMC.

AMD is probably kicking itself for not hanging on to TSMC and ask it not to close its 32nm process node in 2009 to focus on 28nm high-k metal gate bulk fabrication.