For both Nvidia and ATI, it will take more than a year to see the first high performance graphics chips in 28nm shipping to customers.
The reason is quite obvious. Both major fab players, TSMC and Global Foundries, will need time to get the 28nm process to where they want it. TSMC wants to be extra careful with 28nm and its 40nm was all but easy and lack of 40nm chips in Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 cost ATI millions.
The 28nm demo production starts this year, it should be ready shortly and we are quite sure that next generation ATI gets developed in both TSMC and Global Foundries and the winner will get more business. Nvidia’s 28nm is TSMC only and this remains for the time being. However, if Global Foundries do a good job on ATI’s 28nm chips, then Nvidia might turn to them.
In late 2010 ATI will introduce its 40nm tweaked Radeon HD 6000 generation while Nvidia comes up with its GF104 based on similar chips and the rest of 2010 and first part of 2011 is exclusive for 40nm and nothing smaller, at least in graphics.