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AMD plans to tap Globalfoundries and TSMC for 7nm

AMD won't just be using Globalfoundries to create 7nm products

AMD plans to tap Globalfoundries and TSMC for 7nm

AMD plans to tap Globalfoundries and TSMC for 7nm

AMD's Lisa Su has confirmed that the company will be using 7nm nodes from both TSMC and Globalfoundries to create their next generation products, confident that both nodes will provide the company with increased silicon density and reduced power consumption. 

With 14nm, AMD used Globalfoundries almost exclusively, creating both their Ryzen CPU products that their Polaris and Vega GPU products using the same node, making this partial move to TSMC an interesting change. Both nodes will be used to create different product lines, potentially to allow AMD to create a larger volume of products during the early life of these 7nm process nodes.   

Below is a statement from Lisa Su regarding the use of both foundries, which comes from her recent interview with Anandtech. With the release of 7nm, both TSMC and Globalfoundries have managed to close the gap between themselves and Intel, the traditional leader of the Foundry market, taking away one of Intel's prime advantages over their competition. 

  

    Question: With GlobalFoundries 14nm, it was a licensed Samsung process, and 12nm is an advancement of that. 7nm is more of a pure GF design. Is there any change in the relationship as a result?

Lisa Su: So in 7nm, we will use both TSMC and GlobalFoundries. We are working closely with both foundry partners, and will have different product lines for each. I am very confident that the process technology will be stable and capable for what we’re trying to do.

Question: Do you feel like that the numbering system of process technology gets people confused?

Lisa Su: Yes, it probably does! You know, I don’t get to name processor technologies, but I will say though Mark Papermaster made the point today that the 7nm node is a very competitive node, and we do believe that the gap to the competition’s process technology is closing and that’s a good thing, right?

 

At this time the performance difference between TSMC's 7nm and GlobalFoundies 7nm is unknown, though both nodes are expected to offer similar improvements to today's 14/16nm products. AMD will not be creating any single product on both nodes, so it is unlikely that we will ever get a proper opportunity to do a like for like comparison between both nodes on a shipping product. 

 

AMD plans to tap Globalfoundries and TSMC for 7nm

 

Another interesting tidbit from Anandtech's interview is a comment that AMD is likely to separate compute and traditional graphics chips into individual products, creating more "purpose-built products" to act as "special accelerators". This is Lisa Su's comment after she was asked if there was room for Gaming and Compute products to be branched off from each other. 

    I think there is. You will see us move on this, and we’re very committed to gaming so that’s not going to change, but you will see us do some more purpose-built products for the compute side of things.

 
At this time it is unknown what AMD's plans for the future are regarding Radeon, especially after its merger with AMD's Semi-Custom unit and the arrival of RTG's new leadership team. Gamers will undoubtedly be pleased to see compute and gaming graphics undergo some separation, as both markets have very different hardware requirements. 

This differentiation between gaming and compute can already be seen within Nvidia, with Tensor Cores and FP64 compute being priorities within high-end Tesla GPUs and absent in gaming products. Nvidia creates specific products for certain markets, whereas AMD's Vega GPUs have to somehow suit the needs of both. 

You can join the discussion on AMD's plans to use both TSMC and Globalfoundries' 7nm process nodes on the OC3D Forums.  

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Most Recent Comments

24-01-2018, 10:25:03

AlienALX
Cool beans 8)Quote

24-01-2018, 10:57:20

Giggyolly
Damn that's interesting. Imagine if they did split a product line between both, it would lead to another chipgate situation where one fab might be slightly worse than the other!

Really looking forward to zen on 7nm, I think that will be my next platform upgrade.
And hopefully Navi will be good tooQuote

24-01-2018, 10:59:06

AlienALX
My pal who used to be in Taiwan and used to work for Asus reckons the 4ghz limit on Ryzen is down to poor fab. So yeah, this could be very interesting indeed Quote

24-01-2018, 11:03:24

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggyolly View Post
Damn that's interesting. Imagine if they did split a product line between both, it would lead to another chipgate situation where one fab might be slightly worse than the other!

Really looking forward to zen on 7nm, I think that will be my next platform upgrade.
And hopefully Navi will be good too
AMD won't be making any products using both fabs. Some chip designs will be on one and some will be on the other, they won't do both.

It takes a lot of time and money to redesign chips on two different processes, nevermind the complaints they will get from consumers if one is better than the other.Quote

24-01-2018, 11:45:40

Giggyolly
Quote:
Originally Posted by WYP View Post
AMD won't be making any products using both fabs. Some chip designs will be on one and some will be on the other, they won't do both.

It takes a lot of time and money to redesign chips on two different processes, nevermind the complaints they will get from consumers if one is better than the other.
It would be very interesting to see how each fab performs! totally not worth the fallout though hahaQuote
Reply
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