Graphics card makers worried about 28nm

While Nvidia and AMD have signed up to use TSMC’s new 28 nm technology, the dark satanic rumour mill suggests that other manufacturers think this is a very brave move.

Nvidia has said that the new tech will be under the bonnect of its Kepler GPU and AMD has it lined up for its Southern Islands range.

But according to DigiTimes sources, most Taiwan-based graphics card makers think that moving to the technology is too risky at the moment.

Apparently when asked if they are moving to the new technology they tend to reply “oh look, there is a badger with a hand gun” or say that they are watching the market before making any further decisions.

This is a turn around from the days of the introduction of the previous-generation of technology when the graphics card makers were falling over themselves to get products out based around it.

What appears to be bothering the card makers is that TSMC has not been getting a very good yield rate from its 40nm process and this might appear again in its 28nm process.

Already there are rumours that TSMC’s poor 28nm process yield rate could affect Nvidia’s launch of its 28nm GPUs at the end of the year. Nvidia’s Kepler GPUs are expected to be announced in December.

If that was not bad enough, no one seems to want to buy graphics cards at the moment and prices have had to drop.

Badly hit by the lack of interest are the high-end discrete GPUs while mid-range and entry-level graphics cards are gradually being replaced by AMD and Intel’s GPU-integrated processors. Analysts think that the days of discrete graphics cards are fading fast.

AMD’s 28nm Southern Islands-based Radeon HD 7000 GPUs have already entered production with the official launch expected in first-quarter 2012.