TSMC: 28nm chips to hit in 2010

The tiny new tech family will start being used to make faster chips for phones and other gadgets by early 2010, TSMC has said.

The world's biggest contract chip maker, TSMC, said advanced 28-nanometre technology will be used in early 2010 to produce chips for new, higher-performance tech gadgets.

In a highly competitive foundry market, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), United Microelectronics (UMC) and other smaller rivals are racing to develop new process technology for chip production. "Product differentiation, faster time-to-market and investment optimisation are the three most important values TSMC delivers to our customers," Jason Chen, a TSMC vice president, said in a statement.

"In support of these values, we are developing this comprehensive 28nm technology family so that it offers choices, depending on the customer applications and performance requirements."

The new technology, which will support applications like cellular baseband and wireless connectivity, is expected to provide up to 50 per cent more speed, or 30-50 per cent lower power consumption, than TSMCs' 40-nanometre low-power node, TSMC said.

TSMC, which counts Texas Instruments and Nvidia among its major clients, has been driving process technology to advanced 90-, 65- and 45-nanometre as next-generation electronics devices such as cellphones and game consoles require more powerful processors.

The smaller circuitry allows the design of more powerful chips for more complex devices, and the squeezing of more circuits onto a single chip also increases chip yield per wafer, boosting efficiency.

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