40-nm yield issues are back at TSMC

— 9:59 AM on October 30, 2009

Well, this won't help get more of those Radeon HD 5800-series cards in stores. DigiTimes writes that TSMC, the Taiwanese foundry that produces the bulk of graphics chips for both AMD and Nvidia, has run into 40-nm yield problems once again. Reportedly, TSMC itself has admitted that production yields at the 40-nm node have dropped to just 40% because of "chamber matching issues." TSMC CEO Morris Chang however claims his company will overcome the problems before the end of this quarter.

If that all sounds familiar, it's because TSMC also faced hurdles with its 40-nm process earlier this year—analysts then talked of yields as low as 20-30%. According to DigiTimes, Chang affirmed during an investor conference in July that yields had picked up to 60%. Sounds like that didn't last.

As our continued availability checks show, AMD's 40-nm Radeon HD 5850 has remained largely absent from e-tail stocks. However, a quick look at Newegg shows a great number of Radeon HD 5750 and 5770 cards in stock and available. 5700-series cards also use a 40-nm GPU (Juniper), but it's smaller than the Cypress chip in 5800-series products.

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