TSMC might not be ready for AMD

While pundits are jumping on good rumours which suggest AMD is moving away from GlobalFoundries and towards TSMC, no one has commented whether the outfit is up to the task either.

According to DigiTimes, while TSMC is happy to see orders heat up for advanced 28nm technology, particularly during a a general slowdown in the semiconductor industry, it is not clear if it can manage the extra pressure.

Altera, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Xilinx have all contracted TSMC to manufacture their 28nm products. Broadcom, LSI Logic and STMicroelectronics reportedly are among potential clients for TSMC’s 28nm technology.

At the moment TSMC cannot manage that sort of pressure. Its wafer output using 28nm processes is projected to top 20,000 units a month by the end of 2011.

In fact it can only consider taking on more work in 2012 when new capacity at Fab 15 comes online. Fab 15 is TSMC’s third 12-inch fab, will begin volume production in the first quarter of 2012, and ultimately raise its monthly capacity to the designed level of 100,000 wafers per month.

DigiTimes says that the new operation has order visibility of more than six months.

While that might be OK, there is a lot that can go wrong. If Fab 15 does not open in time there could be a lot of customers facing a huge backlog.

It is looking like any moves by AMD to dump GloFo to avoid production delays might be a jump from the frying pan to the fire and face more delays.