Nvidia signs up with Global Foundries

TSMC not the only one anymore

Nvidia logoNVIDIA HAS BEEN very clear that it is sticking with TSMC as it’s only foundry partner, Jen-Hsun himself was adamant that it wasn’t in the cards. Unfortunately, that statement was as real as the cards he held up a year ago.

Nvidia execs like to brag about their ‘most favored nation’ status at TSMC, and that is because of their loyalty to the foundry. The benefits are more along the lines of perks, but honesty has never gotten in the way of Nvidia messaging. Semiaccurate has seen evidence that Nvidia was negotiating with Global Foundries even as they were swearing undying loyalty to TSMC.

After a year or so of negotiations, it looks like Nvidia has finally signed with Global Foundries. The deal is still somewhat shaded in mystery, but it is unlikely to be for GPUs, sources say it is almost assuredly for Tegra and other ARM based chips.

Global Foundries is very tight with ARM, has SOI capabilities, and looks to be ahead of the competition for the next process generation or two. GloFo may be tight on spare 28nm capacity, so Tegra is a perfect fit, low volume and long lead times for any volume shipments.

If word of this infidelity leaks, it could mean some very awkward questions for the boys in green. Cheating on your fab partner is not taken lightly, but I still don’t see Morris Chang brandishing a shotgun full of rock salt swearing up a storm. I do however see Nvidia losing a lot of their perks at the foundry. It probably would have been better had the company been honest about their intentions last year, but why break a long standing company trend?S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate