AMD is all set to launch its next-generation 7nm Vega 20 and Navi GPUs, as well as Zen 2 Epyc, to launch in 2018 and 2019. However, with GlobalFoundries no longer developing the bleeding-edge nodes, AMD has moved its entire 7nm chip production to TSMC.
Earlier this year, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated that they will split their 7nm production between GlobalFoundries and TSMC. Later though, during several corporate events and calls, it was hinted that team red could drop GloFo and in favor of TSMC as the go-to partner for its current portfolio. We finally have an official confirmation from the company in this regard.
AMD’s CTO Mark Papermaster has announced that the company has unified their entire portfolio under a single manufacturing node, at 7nm, and that it will be fabbed exclusively at TSMC. He said in a blog post: “Our work with TSMC on their 7nm node has gone very well and we have seen excellent results from early silicon.”
AMD has been relying on GlobalFoundries for its semiconductor needs since the later was spun off from AMD back in 2009. GloFo played a key role in producing 14nm and 12nm GPU and CPU products, in particular Zen and Zen+, which take the credit of bringing AMD back in the desktop CPU market.
But, it seems that the relationship between two old partners will not go beyond those nodes.
In a process to catch-up with Intel, GloFo has twice scrapped its manufacturing processes. First, the foundry called off their 14nm node development in favor of licensing it off Samsung, and now it has ended the 7nm development.
This meant AMD to turn to its backup fab, TSMC, for future 7nm CPU and GPU production. TSMC has a substantial lead over Intel in manufacturing technology and AMD hopes to capitalize on that.
AMD’s current 7nm portfolio includes the Vega 20, Zen 2 and Navi, all manufactured by TSMS, according to Papermaster. The company is set to launch Vega 20 GPU later this year. It won’t be a gaming-focused graphics card, but will target HPC (High Performance Computing).
Following Vega 20 will appear the Zen 2-based server CPU, Epyc, in early 2019. Finally, later that year, we’ll see the arrival of the long-awaited Navi GPU architecture, which will be the true successor to Polaris.