DigiTimes reports chip foundries plan to use part of their 28nm production equipment to make 20nm chips to alleviate a potential oversupply of 28nm capacity.
Allocating a portion of 28nm production tools for 20nm chip production will also help foundries to satisfy immediately customers' technology transition needs, said the sources. Meanwhile, part of 20nm equipment could be used for the manufacture of more advanced 16/14nm chips to avoid idle equipment and production, the sources indicated.
Globalfoundries and Samsung Electronics have joined TSMC ramping up their 28nm production capacities. As the global output of 28nm chips scales up significantly, demand might not be able to catch up with supply, the sources pointed out.
Demand for 28nm chips has slowed down since the second half of 2013, due to disappointing sales of smartphones particularly in the high end.