Friday, July 8th 2011

Foundry Delays to Push Back NVIDIA Kepler Launch to 2012

It looks like foundry issues are back to slow down the launch of NVIDIA's next generation high-end GPU, codenamed Kepler. The delay may push Kepler's launch to 2012, it was expected to launch by late 2011. The 28 nanometer silicon fabrication process at TSMC, a principal foundry partner of NVIDIA, is producing unsatisfactory yields. Add to that, Kepler's performance is lower than expected.

TSMC's 28 nm process at Fab 15 facility has already seen delays, which have even shaped AMD's designs in a big way. AMD had originally planned to design high-end VLIW4 chips on the 32 nm process at TSMC, but later decided to wait for the 28 nm process, leading to plans of 32 nm GPUs being scrapped by both GPU designers. TSMC was supposed to be in a position take orders of high-end 28 nm GPUs by Q4 2011, and was set to start pilot production for its 20nm process technology in the third quarter of 2012.

TSMC's major client apart from GPU vendors, that relies on new bulk manufacturing process, Qualcomm, hasn't yet adjusted its 28nm process schedule and is set to launch three new products, 8960. 8270 and 8260A using dual-core Krait architecture in the fourth quarter of 2011.

AMD's first 28 nm GPUs, under the "Southern Islands" family are on course for 1H 2012. Around the same time, AMD will also release APUs based on the 28 nm process, codenamed "Krishna" and "Wichita", that replace Ontraio and Zacate.Source: DigiTimes
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76 Comments on Foundry Delays to Push Back NVIDIA Kepler Launch to 2012

#1
Jizzler
They better delay it! As a Kepler, I don't want my name on some low-perf part!
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#2
R_1
Well, there is a credible info, that "Southern Islands" family are on course for Q3 2011, so what are you talking about?
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: R_1
Well, there is a credible info, that "Southern Islands" family are on course for Q3 2011, so what are you talking about?
About Southern Islands being on course for 1H 2012.
Posted on Reply
#4
R_1
Source?
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#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: R_1
Source?
In the news post.
Posted on Reply
#6
R_1
GF Fab 2 in Malta, NY will be production ready for late H1 2012. Maybe that's SI schedule on AMD own fabs.
Posted on Reply
#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: R_1
GF Fab 2 in Malta, NY will be production ready for late H1 2012. Maybe that's SI schedule on AMD own fabs.
No, AMD isn't building GPUs on GF.
Posted on Reply
#8
Shihabyooo
So Fermi's going to stick around for a few more months ? In that case, imma go get me a 580.


by: btarunr
The 28 nanometer silicon fabrication process at TSMC, a principal foundry partner of NVIDIA, is producing unsatisfactory yields. Add to that, Kepler's performance is lower than expected
delay as much as you want. Just don't pull another 4xx Fermi. Wouldn't mind another 465/470 case though ;).
Posted on Reply
#9
air_ii
by: R_1
Well, there is a credible info, that "Southern Islands" family are on course for Q3 2011, so what are you talking about?
You're not refering to Charlie's story on SA, are you?
Posted on Reply
#10
Pestilence
Bad Yields again? It's Fermi all over again.
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#12
Crap Daddy
There is no need for more powerful GPUs soon as the PC gaming industry continues to produce DX9 games that run perfectly well on three year old hardware. I don't see that change until next gen consoles are out. And that's gonna be faaaar away.
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#13
NC37
Just what happens when you outsource to another company for production. When they screw up, you are stuck twiddling your thumbs till its fixed. Really wonder how they are saving money when everytime this happens it sets them back months.
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#14
Red_Machine
*snaps finger* Drat, looks like I'll have to keep hold of my 580 for a while.
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#15
yogurt_21
by: Red_Machine
*snaps finger* Drat, looks like I'll have to keep hold of my 580 for a while.
lol yeah you poor thing. me too, I have to somehow keep on going with 480 sli.


Well in the world of dx 9 games as king I'm in no hurry to go out and buy a new gpu anyways so this is rather welcome news.

edit: and it's also hard to get upset about a delay for a gpu we know literally nothing about.
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#16
Assimilator
TSMC needs to get their s**t sorted, this is now the second node shrink in a row they've botched. Their customers are going to start looking for alternatives soon.
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#17
yogurt_21
by: Assimilator
TSMC needs to get their s**t sorted, this is now the second node shrink in a row they've botched. Their customers are going to start looking for alternatives soon.
you assume they haven't already, AMD used to do all their own manufacturing, it's simply more cost effective to have TSMC do it.
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#18
Yukikaze
by: Assimilator
TSMC needs to get their s**t sorted, this is now the second node shrink in a row they've botched. Their customers are going to start looking for alternatives soon.
Not too many alternatives available, though. Very few fabs can even hope to produce 28nm parts in the reasonably near time-frame.
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#19
Pestilence
Intel needs to buy Nvidia so they can produce Kepler. God it would rock on Intel's process.
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#20
Casecutter
Wolf, wolf… boy! :rolleyes:

Again TSMC has to be the scapegoat, that what you get when your the principal foundry partner for Nvidia.
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#21
WarraWarra
Damn this is sad both for Nvidia and AMD to have so much trouble.
I was really looking forward to something new from Nvidia.

I wonder how much the Japan Tsunami economical /supply effects affected these delays.

Hopefully 2 or more braincell'd motherboard manufacturers would step up to the demand issue and introduce 4 or more pci-e3.0 16x / "4x 32x" slots on their motherboards to keep our appetites satisfied.

Just not sure how 4x, 6x, 8x or more 580/585/590/6990's in xfire would do and the power to run them and still trying to keep the glorified memory controller Intel i7-980XE or i7-2600k powered as well.
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#22
Casecutter
From most accounts the news for AMD's Southern Islands is that it is on track, and they might release a "pipe cleaner" 28Nm chip before end of Q4 2011.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4455/amds-graphics-core-next-preview-amd-architects-for-compute
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Fusion-System-Architecture-Overview-Southern-Isle-GPUs-and-Beyond
I don't believe we'd be seeing this level of engineer information already if they did have some certainty.

I don't believe silicon wafer manufacturing was ever effected or at least R&D.
http://hken.ibtimes.com/articles/137552/20110425/taiwan-tsmc-umc-slower-growth-tepid-demand-raw-material-supplies-japan.htm
Here's a report from June
http://www.seekic.com/blog/IndustryNews/2011/06/12/TSMC_Started_to_Run_A_Economic_Model_for_Better_Development.html
Posted on Reply
#23
Flibolito
It is complicated and sensitive to mass produce processors @28nm of 3-5 billion transistor each. This is a common thing now in the GPU world. Delays and then a great chip. I love the fermi series 4xx & 5xx. Never had any problems with heat or anything. They can take their sweet time as the Fermis now are plenty stout. Same with AMD, I don't mind delays if the product is great. So let them get it right and we save our cash a little longer and end up in happyland when that day arrives.
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#24
seronx
I guess Nvidia couldn't take the heat

Posted on Reply
#25
largon
Looks like 40nm might reign for three whole years.
Posted on Reply
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