Industry cautious over 28nm discrete GPUs
The graphics industry has reportedly adopted a "conservative attitude" towards next-gen GPUs manufactured on TSMC’s 28nm technology.
Both Nvidia’s Kepler and AMD’s Southern Islands are slated to be produced at TSMC on 28nm nodes; however, Taiwan-based graphics card makers are apparently watching the market before making any further decisions.
According to DigiTimes, the cautious attitude can be attributed to concerns over TSMC’s weak 40nm process yield, as well as decreased demand for discrete GPUs and lower-than-expected gross margins.
To be sure, high-end discrete graphics cards are currently experiencing a reduction in sales, while demand for mid-range and entry-level graphics cards is gradually being replaced by GPU-integrated processors: AMD’s APU and Intel’s Sandy/Ivy Bridge.
As such, industry sources believe overall demand for discrete graphics cards will inevitably decrease over time.
Nevertheless, despite concerns over TSMC's 28nm process, the launch of Nvidia’s Kepler remains on track for the end of 2011; while AMD's 28nm Southern Islands-based Radeon HD 7000 GPUs have already kicked off production in preparation for a Q1 2012 debut.