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gstanford
03-25-03, 11:47 PM
This is excellent news and not a moment to soon in my opinion. TSMC would have been out the door and on their arse long before now if I were running nVidia. Hopefully nVidia has now (painfully unfortunately) learnt its lesson reagrding keeping manufacturing capability all in one basket.

http://news.com.com/2100-1006-994072.html?tag=fd_top
IBM to produce Nvidia chips

By John G. Spooner
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
March 25, 2003, 9:00 PM PT

Nvidia has signed a pact with IBM Microelectronics to help it avoid putting all of its graphics chips in one basket.
The chipmaker on Wednesday will announce an agreement in which IBM will serve as an additional manufacturer for the GeForce family of graphics chips. Nvidia's current manufacturer is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Nvidia wanted more manufacturing capacity and was looking to avoid the pitfalls of working with just one producer, said Nvidia spokesman Derek Perez.

As previously reported, Nvidia had to delay the introduction of the top-of-the-line GeForce FX processor in part due to TSMC, its only manufacturer at the time, making a transition from a 180-nanometer manufacturing process to a new 130-nanometer process. The change to a new process allows chipmakers to produce smaller, faster and less power-hungry chips.

When looking for an additional foundry, Nvidia also sought out technology that would help it boost performance, Perez said. This gave IBM a leg up on the competition.

IBM is rivaled only by Intel in its chipmaking technology and research and development prowess. The Microelectronics division, working with IBM Research, has introduced a number of new chip-manufacturing technology breakthroughs over the years. IBM also recently opened a new chip plant in East Fishkill, N.Y.

"I think (IBM) wowed us with a lot of things," Perez said. "Having all of its technology expertise in our back pocket was a no-brainer for us."

The chipmaker plans to continue its work with TSMC, even for its highest-performance chips, said Perez, who noted that the manufacturer has produced more than 200 million Nvidia graphics chips over the last five years.

Analysts believe it's in Nvidia's best interest to be able to shift production between two different foundries.

"I suspect what Nvidia is doing is diversifying its foundry base a little bit so it doesn't get trapped in a situation where it only has one foundry to deliver a product," said Dean McCarron, analyst with Mercury Research. "That changes its manufacturing situation pretty significantly, as when dealing with more than one foundry, you have the ability to start partitioning your manufacturing. It gives you more flexibility."

IBM Microelectronics will be qualified to build any future GeForce graphics processors, Perez said.

The IBM chip division will begin manufacturing unspecified Nvidia GeForce chips next summer using its 130-nanometer process, Perez said. The graphics chipmaker will not use IBM's more exotic manufacturing technologies--such as the silicon-on-insulator technique, which helps reduce power consumption and boost performance--at first, but may use them in the future.

The new contract is a big win for IBM. Nvidia is one of IBM's first manufacturing customers after a reorganization of the IBM Technology Group. The restructuring, which took place last summer, sought to expand the Microelectronics chipmaking division into a manufacturing and design services arm.

Since then, IBM has opened the Fishkill plant as a chip foundry, put in place a program to license its PowerPC processor and begun to license various chipmaking technologies to outside companies, including Sony. IBM has also teamed with Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor to share technology and manufacturing capacity.

One of IBM's first chip technology licensees since the reorganization is Advanced Micro Devices. AMD licensed IBM's chipmaking technologies, including silicon-on-insulator, for future processor manufacturing.

IBM also builds chips for cell phone makers Qualcomm and Xilinx.

The terms of the Nvidia-IBM agreement were not disclosed, but it is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over several years, a source familiar with the deal said.

Unit01
03-26-03, 02:42 AM
:)
Good move by nvidia :)
Maybe now the FX Ultra might hit retail

SurfMonkey
03-26-03, 03:02 AM
A very smart move on nvidias part, they now have access to chip process technology that is second only to Intels. Hopefully we'll see some in the next batch of GPUs.

mikechai
03-26-03, 03:43 AM
I think the upcoming NV35 will be produced by IBM fab
and will use fluorinated silicate glass (FSG) dielectric (instead of low-k).

This is indeed a very good move by NVIDIA. They have learnt from their mistake.

mikechai
03-26-03, 03:45 AM
Based on this news, it is become clearer now.

NV35 will be officially annouced in May with mass production begin in June.

nutball
03-26-03, 04:24 AM
Originally posted by mikechai
I think the upcoming NV35 will be produced by IBM fab
and will use fluorinated silicate glass (FSG) dielectric (instead of low-k).

This is indeed a very good move by NVIDIA. They have learnt from their mistake.

What mistake was that? Bringing out a flagship product on a new process that they didn't have much experience of? :confused:

Another point-of-view is that changing horses at this critical stage might not be a good idea. A whole new set of lessons to be learned...

Lezmaka
03-26-03, 04:29 AM
http://news.com.com/2100-1006-994072.html?tag=fd_topThe IBM chip division will begin manufacturing unspecified Nvidia GeForce chips next summer using its 130-nanometer process, Perez said. The graphics chipmaker will not use IBM's more exotic manufacturing technologies--such as the silicon-on-insulator technique, which helps reduce power consumption and boost performance--at first, but may use them in the future.


http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030326/tech_ibm_nvidia_2.htmlIBM plans to start making the Nvidia chip this summer.

So which one is it? Next summer or this summer?

SurfMonkey
03-26-03, 05:19 AM
I'd go with IBM making the NV35 this summer. That seems to be what EETimes are alluding to and they're usually very accurate. That is most definately good news, at IBM have enormous experience with the .13u process so I guess there be a better chance of getting more usuable chips from them, albeit at a higher price.

Also if the deal is for three years then nvidia will get first stab at using .09u with the NV40 on an IBM matured process. I would presume that they will miss out .11u entirely??

Steppy
03-26-03, 05:19 AM
If they plan on getting this out this summer, I don't think they'll be releasing IBM made ones at release unless they've already spun test silicon at IBM's foundry. Also, since they said IBM wasn't their "primary" partner, they can't really use anything that's isn't also capable of being produced at TSMC. To me, it seems this just indicates that they'll have a partner that can reliably help them produce NV35(which is a good thing), but doesn't point to a faster release.

Evildeus
03-26-03, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by nutball
What mistake was that? Bringing out a flagship product on a new process that they didn't have much experience of? :confused:

Another point-of-view is that changing horses at this critical stage might not be a good idea. A whole new set of lessons to be learned...
I think the mistake is to have just one provider. Till all goes right it's good, when there's an issue you suffer much.

Having 2 providers diminishs the risk of suffering poor delivery.

SurfMonkey
03-26-03, 06:11 AM
Originally posted by Steppy
If they plan on getting this out this summer, I don't think they'll be releasing IBM made ones at release unless they've already spun test silicon at IBM's foundry. Also, since they said IBM wasn't their "primary" partner, they can't really use anything that's isn't also capable of being produced at TSMC. To me, it seems this just indicates that they'll have a partner that can reliably help them produce NV35(which is a good thing), but doesn't point to a faster release.

This kind of deal was probably set up months ago, and IBM have just completed some work for nvidia which would be public knowledge, so there was no point in keeping it secret any longer.

It's very likely that they have completed masks etc for the IBM foundary, and that IBM is in place the make nvidia's next high end chip this summer, as all the reports allude to.

It will interesting to see the quality of chip produced by IBM in comparison to TSMC's.

Fotis
03-26-03, 06:48 AM
Great move by Nvidia!!!:eek:
The one with the best fab wins.If Ati doesn't do anything about it(intel)nvidia will surely get the upper hand.
TSMC is the reason for nv30's delay and probably R400's.
They suck and keep the graphics industry behind!!! :rw:

Hanners
03-26-03, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Fotis
Great move by Nvidia!!!:eek:
The one with the best fab wins.If Ati doesn't do anything about it(intel)nvidia will surely get the upper hand.
TSMC is the reason for nv30's delay and probably R400's.
They suck and keep the graphics industry behind!!! :rw:

There isn't much doubt that the process problems at TSMC was a major factor in the NV30s delay. However, R400's problem is more likely due to getting low-k dialetic working properly, which I imagine is a hurdle both nVidia and ATi are going to have to cross, regardless of who produces their chips.

Using IBM is certainly a smart move for nVidia, I imagine IBM will be better prepared for future requirements, and it avoids nVidia having to put all their eggs in one basket.

I wonder if a move from TSMC to IBM for the NV35 would cause a delay to it's production though? I guess if IBM is going to be responsible for NV35 production, then everything was arranged a while ago...

jbirney
03-26-03, 07:20 AM
Well then,

one has to wonder about all of those rumors were heard saying the nV35 would be out soon. Still good news for nV.

vampireuk
03-26-03, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by jbirney
Well then,

one has to wonder about all of those rumors were heard saying the nV35 would be out soon. Still good news for nV.

Better later if they are going to be of a higher quality;) Now lets sit back and wait for some trolls to read the front page and head on into this thread:rolleyes: :D

gstanford
03-26-03, 08:41 AM
The resident ATi troll over at 3dnow.net has already rampaged (I almost feel guilty teasing him though - loses almost every debate we have, still comes back for more though).

Evildeus
03-26-03, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by jbirney
Well then,

one has to wonder about all of those rumors were heard saying the nV35 would be out soon. Still good news for nV.

Why? Announcement end of spring, release product in summer... it's soon.

CurtMan
03-26-03, 09:40 AM
A graphics card with SOI in the near future.......?

This seems like a win win situation. IBM needs any business and NVIDIA needs to have more than one basket for its eggs. I can only hope this prevents a second "NV30"!

lukar
03-26-03, 10:17 AM
Still, that is not going to help Nvidia with NV30 or NV35 because those chips are ****, talking about architecture of cards, and solutions...

jbirney
03-26-03, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by Evildeus
Why? Announcement end of spring, release product in summer... it's soon.

Well so cards will be avible when in summer? early? mid? late? I think of soon = with in a month or two before I can phyicall get one. Besides with this nV30 fasico about product launch (comdex) and shipping (techincally one could argure that the FX just started to ship now) I keep an a wait and see state...

Uttar
03-26-03, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by lukar
Still, that is not going to help Nvidia with NV30 or NV35 because those chips are ****, talking about architecture of cards, and solutions...

The main problem on the NV30, AFAIK, is a lot of bugged silicon and a very complex architecture, driver-wise.

The NV35 will obviously be much better in those fronts, but the question is how much. I'd say it's not reasonable yet to say if it'll be crap or not.
My guess is that it won't be, but I could be wrong.


Uttar

sxotty
03-26-03, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Steppy
If they plan on getting this out this summer, I don't think they'll be releasing IBM made ones at release unless they've already spun test silicon at IBM's foundry. Also, since they said IBM wasn't their "primary" partner, they can't really use anything that's isn't also capable of being produced at TSMC. To me, it seems this just indicates that they'll have a partner that can reliably help them produce NV35(which is a good thing), but doesn't point to a faster release.

Actually the main business = main volume which we all know won't be nv35, so in that sense it is possible that TSMC will work on the old process, and IBM will work on a new better one.

Paul
03-26-03, 01:15 PM
Regardless of whether the NV35 is heading there, IBM and nVidia will have been working together for a while before this announcement - I'm sure nVidia would have made sure that IBM was up to the challenge before sealing any deal.

As for the NV35 itself, Low-K isn't going to be there, and SOI is looking doubtful from what i've heard. You're looking at the NV40/45 for that tech. Still, it's nice for nVidia to have two foundries now - it certainly gives them more options.

GlowStick
03-26-03, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Fotis
Great move by Nvidia!!!:eek:
The one with the best fab wins.If Ati doesn't do anything about it(intel)nvidia will surely get the upper hand.
TSMC is the reason for nv30's delay and probably R400's.
They suck and keep the graphics industry behind!!! :rw:


AFAIK Intel dose not fab chips for other companies. Thats what i was told? Any one know for sure?

Unless IBM has some agreement to not make chips for ATI, ati could just go with IBM also.

ChrisW
03-26-03, 03:50 PM
I fail to see why this could possibly be considered good news for nVidia. They already spent >$400 million on the NV30 and now they are going to have to start all over and possibly double their costs just to get the NV35 out the door. The NV35 was supposed to just be a refresh product which should have been a small investment over the current NV30. This would also indicate it should be available much later than the current rumors indicate. Whatever happened to all the rumors about the NV35 already tapped out a few months ago? History repeats itself?