Taiwanese axis beats AMD, Intel to .13 micron

Scary Taiwanese firms kiss 'n' make up

Via and the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have had their differences earlier this year but those seem to have been settled behind the scenes.

That is, if you believe the joint statement just issued by the two firms which claim the first "functional" wafers which will power future Via chips. Functional is computer speak for "working".

Marmosetzilla (Via) is already manufacturing x86 processors using the process, at least that's what TSMC is saying.

Via will make processors based on the design and targeting the low end, sorry, value end of the PC, notebook and info-appliance markets, said TSMC. (Via hasn't said much yet - like when the chips will be out, for example.)

While Intel and AMD have been beating their respective primate-like chests about their own .13 micron technology, it appears that TSMC - a mere wannabe in the market ten years ago - has pipped them to the post. Over the last year or two, the foundry has been quietly putting together its .13 micron plans.

Back in September we reported that TSMC had claimed its wafer starts now outstripped Intel's, while sources close to both Qualcomm and Via got the jitters about a tie up between Chipzilla and Foundry Numero Uno.

Via is absolutely fabless and relies on TSMC to make its wafers for it so we suspect that after those rumours we reported then, the CEOs of both firms came to a modus vivendi which satisfied both.

Both Intel and AMD are deeply paranoid about Via because it sells its microprocessors at a price which shreds those infamous 60 per cent gross margins to ribbons, and its strategy is to sell the chips into developing markets, including China, South America and India. ®

Related Story

TSMC starts pushing out .13 micron stuff