The foundry plans to start commercial production sometime in Q3 and 28nm wafers should make up between 2 and 3 percent of total wafer sales in Q4.
TSMC claims Nvidia and AMD are sticking to their 28nm launch schedules. Nvidia is planning to start production of its first Kepler chips this year, but availability is not expected until early 2012, just as we reported last week. AMD’s Southern Islands generation will probably show up at the same time.
Of course, it will take some time to ramp up production and build up significant inventories for launch. However, analysts believe TSMC will have a lot easier time ramping up 28nm production and improving yields compared to the transition to 40nm, since the previous transition required equipment upgrades. It seems TSMC boffins have gotten the hang of new equipment in the meantime.