AMD CEO Lisa Su has confirmed that they will be using both TSMC and GlobalFoundries for their next generation 7nm Vega and Zen 2 products. The company is confident that this smaller process node will provide them with increased silicon density and reduced power consumption.
AMD to split 7nm Vega production between TSMC and GlobalFoundries
AMD has exclusively used GlobalFoundries’ 14nm node for their Ryzen CPU and Polaris GPU architectures. The upcoming Ryzen 2000 series processors will be using the 12nm node, which is essentially an optimized form of 14nm, and once again fabricated at GlobalFoundries.
However, with their next-gen Vega GPU in 2018-19, AMD will be making a shift to the smaller 7nm node which will also mark a partial move to TSMC as a wafer manufacturing partner. AMD will have 7nm Vega fabricated at both TSMC and GloFo, with both nodes being used to develop different product lines.
This will potentially allow the company to create a larger volume of products during the early life of 7nm. Su confirmed this in an interview with AnandTech, in the following words:
“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.”
Whether there will be any performance difference between the two nodes is unknown at this point, but you can expect similar improvement over the current-gen 14nm/16nm products. Further, with AMD creating different products on both nodes, it will not be feasible to do a direct comparison on shipping products.
The first 7nm Vega products will be AI-focused Radeon Instinct family set to arrive later in 2018. While AMD will begin customer sampling this year, the new Vega based desktop parts are unlikely to be available until Q1 2019.
The big product on 7nm, however, will be the Navi GPU expected to launch in the second half of 2019. Navi will then be followed by the 7nm+ “Next-Gen” architecture that is scheduled to hit the shelves by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, on the CPU side, AMD will have 7nm Zen 2 in 2019, followed by Zen 3 on 7nm+ that would align with ‘post-Navi’ GPU. The company is expecting them to offer far more than the usual 7-8% performance bumps we’ve seen of late.