TSMC and Globalfoundries will have direct competitionWith so many companies talking about the sort of manufacturing process, or processes, they want to employ, Samsung has figured it may as well talk about its own for a bit.
We've seen AMD's stance on the matter, and Intel has been mentioning its plans periodically, as has Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
Right now, AMD and NVIDIA both use TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process in their graphics processing units (GPUs).
Samsung won't be making any GPUs, but it does plan to use 28nm technology in future products.
It won't be calling on anyone though. Unlike NVIDIA and AMD, Samsung has its own manufacturing acumen to draw on.
As such, it has decided to create its own 28nm manufacturing facilities, even if it has to spend $4 billion to do it (3.05 billion Euro).
Long story short, Samsung will create a site for 28nm state-of-the-art mobile application processors at its Austin fab campus.
"Our ongoing, multi-billion dollar investments in Austin will expand our footprint as a comprehensive semiconductor hub and demonstrate our strong commitment to manufacturing, research and development in the United States," said Woosung Han, president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor.
Samsung's remodeled fabrication plans will create mobile chips on 300mm wafers. The first batch should be ready during the second half of 2013.
The yields (percentage of viable chips per wafer) are unlikely to be very high at first, but Samsung will probably do its best not to make the front page by failing to amass sufficient quantities, like TSMC.
Granted, TSMC has been having trouble meeting orders not just because of yields, but due to strong demand from not just AMD and NVIDIA, but Qualcomm as well. Samsung's large investment is no doubt taking that into account.