AMD takes 28nm Kabini, Temash APU production to TSMC

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Despite starting up as a joint venture in 2009, GlobalFoundries and AMD haven't had the best of relationships over the years, with the latter blaming 32nm manufacturing issues for lower-than-expected revenue in 2011. As problems persisted towards the end of that year news broke that AMD had cancelled two upcoming 28nm APUs -- Wichita and Krishna -- and would instead work on follow-up designs with TSMC.

The company has remained quiet regarding the switch, even after giving up the remaining of its 10% minority stake on the semiconductor foundry in March 2012 and swallowing a $320 million penalty for reducing their wafer purchase commitments. But now, according to ExtremeTech, AMD has let slip that Kabini and Temash are indeed being built at TSMC, with the struggling company expected to ship in Q2 of this year.

AMD is billing these as the industry's first quad-core x86 system-on-chips. Kabini will take over AMD’s A4 and A6 brands and is designed to take on Intel on the ultra-thin notebook segment, with up to 50% more compute performance than current-generation Brazos 2.0 (marketed under the E Series). Temash replaces the Hondo-based Z-Series as AMD's tablet and hybrid APU with double the graphics performance.

ExtremeTech speculates that AMD's decision to market Kabini APUs under the A Series brand means the new chip is strong enough to close the gap with mainstream notebooks, though the latest roadmap suggests some variants will also carry the E Series denomination AMD used for budget notebooks and netbooks.

Despite moving production to TSMC, AMD is not breaking all ties with GlobalFoundries yet. In fact, their long term commitment to shifting its entire production to GlobalFoundries is reportedly unchanged, but the company had to buy itself some flexibility in sourcing its chips as its former partner ironed out production issues.

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