AMD using TSMC for CPUs and GPUs

goldstone77

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Malta Tour Shows GF Rising
Ryan Shrout
2/7/2018 00:01 AM EST

https://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1332945
AMD is still the biggest and most influential customer for GF. AMD’s latest processor products including Ryzen and Epyc, in addition to graphics chips based on Polaris and Vega, are all built inside GF’s Fab 8 in Malta, NY.

AMD had a lot of ground to make up against Intel and Nvidia. CEO Lisa Su hasn’t been shy about crediting GlobalFoundries in part for the improvement in its product portfolio through 2017. AMD’s release schedule and product refresh cycle for the products was aggressive.

I toured Fab 8 to see some of the changes taking place. Like TSMC, GF will be starting 7nm production with current lithography techniques, claiming customers are demanding 7nm tape-outs before newer options like extreme ultraviolet litho (EUV) are ready.

TSMC taped out several 7nm chips last year and expects volume production this year. GF is a step behind with an in-house designed 7nm node taping out chips in late 2018 and mass production in 2019.

GF must prove to its customers, AMD among them, that its 7nm capabilities are competitive with TSMC. GF claims its 7nm LP process will provide for mobile processor applications as much as a 30 percent die cost reduction and a 40 percent better performance over its 14nm node.

AMD said (and GF confirmed) it will be splitting its 7nm production across both GF and TSMC. Which chips will be coming from TSMC versus GF is still unclear.


My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible. Given AMD has promised to ship 7nm Zen 2 CPUs and 7nm Vega and Navi GPUs by 2020, the window is closing on that selection process.
GF claims its 7nm LP process will provide for mobile processor applications as much as a 30 percent die cost reduction and a 40 percent better performance over its 14nm node.
7nm LP will be used for mobile processor applications... What about the other applications like desktops?
My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible.
Maybe, TSMC will be producing 7nm CPUs for AMD.
 

raghu78

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No I don't think so. AMD will TSMC for 7nm GPU (7nm Vega for AI/HPC and Navi for gaming) . These products will come to market earlier than AMD Zen 2 CPUs which will be manufactured at GF 7LP. GF has stated risk production for 7LP by mid-2018 which puts HVM by mid-2019. I think we will see AMD 7nm GPUs in H1 2019 built on TSMC N7, 7nm CPUs in H2 2019 built on GF 7LP and finally 7nm APUs in H1 2020 built on GF 7LP. You have to remember AMD has a WSA commitment. The CPUs and APUs are much higher volume than GPUs and I doubt AMD is moving CPUs and APUs to any foundry other than GF.
 
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24601

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Sounds more like the "CPU" manufactured on TSMC is probably just a console APU (as their semi-custom partners have zero faith in global foundries), as there's no reason other than that for AMD to produce their own CPUs on TSMC.

GF can tune their process specifically for AMD CPUs whereas AMD is no where near a big enough player to demand custom nodes from TSMC (like Nvidia apparently can)
 

goldstone77

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No I don't think so. AMD will TSMC for 7nm GPU (7nm Vega for AI/HPC and Navi for gaming) . These products will come to market earlier than AMD Zen 2 CPUs which will be manufactured at GF 7LP. GF has stated risk production for 7LP by mid-2018 which puts HVM by mid-2019. I think we will see AMD 7nm GPUs in H1 2019 built on TSMC N7, 7nm CPUs in H2 2019 built on GF 7LP and finally 7nm APUs in H1 2020 built on GF 7LP. You have to remember AMD has a WSA commitment. The CPUs and APUs are much higher volume than GPUs and I doubt AMD is moving CPUs and APUs to any foundry other than GF.
AMD has a WSA commitment
AMD paid GoFlo last year, and who is to say they wouldn't do it again or exactly what that payment was for to begin with.
My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible.
Ryan is reporting this information after a tour at GlobalFoundries, so his comments could have pretty huge implications. GlobalFoundries for mobile processors and TSMC is a possibility for desktop CPU/GPU could be an implications.
 

LightningZ71

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From what little bits have leaked out online over the last year, I get the distinct impression that inital 7nm from TSMC and GF will be optimized for slightly different product mixes. It seems that GF is concentrating on cost reduction through die space reduction as a primary goal first, followed by extracting whatever performance improvements will be available after. There are already announced roadmaps that include revisions to the 7nm process that will have other focus mixes. TSMC seems to be aiming for an optimization of the power/performance curve over density instead, or so I seem to remember reading.

Either way, AMD's commitment to GF is that GF has essentially right of first refusal on any AMD production request as long as they have capacity available. If GF is capacity constrained or incapable of producing the item, AMD can take their excess business anywhere they want to. That's also from memory and heavily simplified. So, I have no problems with AMD having production at TSMC as is stated in this rumor/report.
 

maddie

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Poorly written article.

My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible. Given AMD has promised to ship 7nm Zen 2 CPUs and 7nm Vega and Navi GPUs by 2020, the window is closing on that selection process.
Didn't AMD claim just recently Vega 7nm this year? Also AFAIK, 2019 will have Zen 2 + Navi @ 7nm

My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible. Given AMD has promised to ship 7nm Zen 2 CPUs and 7nm Vega and Navi GPUs by 2020, the window is closing on that selection process.
He might be mistaken as this is not a trivial process to switch processes.

Possible meaning is that AMD plans 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries with TSMC doing the GPUs and GloFlo keeping the CPUs & APUs.

edit:
Think of it metaphorically speaking as AMD in a tacking duel with Nvidia and not willing to sail too far away as it being too risky, thus both using the same process. Compete with architecture.
 
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CatMerc

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From what little bits have leaked out online over the last year, I get the distinct impression that inital 7nm from TSMC and GF will be optimized for slightly different product mixes. It seems that GF is concentrating on cost reduction through die space reduction as a primary goal first, followed by extracting whatever performance improvements will be available after. There are already announced roadmaps that include revisions to the 7nm process that will have other focus mixes. TSMC seems to be aiming for an optimization of the power/performance curve over density instead, or so I seem to remember reading.

Either way, AMD's commitment to GF is that GF has essentially right of first refusal on any AMD production request as long as they have capacity available. If GF is capacity constrained or incapable of producing the item, AMD can take their excess business anywhere they want to. That's also from memory and heavily simplified. So, I have no problems with AMD having production at TSMC as is stated in this rumor/report.
 
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goldstone77

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Poorly written article.


Didn't AMD claim just recently Vega 7nm this year? Also AFAIK, 2019 will have Zen 2 + Navi @ 7nm
They announced this year it's on track for next year.
AMD Sampling 7nm Vega in Q4 2018
In previous roadmaps, AMD stated that it would be using a 14+/12nm process node for an update to its Vega design. At the Tech Day, that part of the roadmap no longer existed, and in its place was the announcement of a 7nm Vega graphics processor to be sampled at the end of the year.

This announcement came with a lot of questions, specifically whether 7nm would be ready for Q4 2018. AMD clarified its remarks by saying that this product will not be aimed at gamers, but will be a version of Vega specifically for machine learning, and they expect only to be sampling select customers with early silicon at the time.

He might be mistaken as this is not a trivial process to switch processes.

Possible meaning is that AMD plans 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries with TSMC doing the GPUs and GloFlo keeping the CPUs & APUs.

edit:
Think of it metaphorically speaking as AMD in a tacking duel with Nvidia and not willing to sail too far away as it being too risky, thus both using the same process. Compete with architecture.
GF claims its 7nm LP process will provide for mobile processor applications as much as a 30 percent die cost reduction and a 40 percent better performance over its 14nm node.

AMD said (and GF confirmed) it will be splitting its 7nm production across both GF and TSMC. Which chips will be coming from TSMC versus GF is still unclear.


My understanding is AMD plans development of 7nm GPUs and CPUs at both foundries, selecting the best one for each option as late as possible.
My interpretation is that a process battle between TSMC and GlobalFoundries is going on for AMD's business. And it is a battle for CPU and GPU business with AMD giving GlobalFoundries every opportunity up to the last minute to become the supplier. AMD will pick the best process, or possibly the more cost effective option depending on the WSA, at the last possible moment.

The last point is Sourcing flexibility for certain products to support product roadmap and business plans through 2020.
 
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Mopetar

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I think it’s important to look at it from a risk management perspective as well. If AMD has all eggs in one basket and there’s a delay it hurts them much worse than spreading their production across multiple suppliers.

It as let’s them get more products into the market as well. If they use GF for GPUs that’s less wafers for their CPUs. New nodes have limited capacity while the kinks get worked out and yields improve. AMD also has chips competitive in segments where they haven’t been for years now so greater need for production capacity.
 

krumme

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Risk management is pretty simple if the wsa wasnt there.
Zen 2 on 7nm is outrageously important and who would bet the farm on GF process beeing on time for that? A banker on cocaine perhaps.
Look at streetprices. Zen easily pays for the mm2 whoever delivers it.
And obviously Sony and MS is not betting the entire console business on such a risk with minimum reward. Imo GF needs to prove themselves more for that to happen.
I think its a bit of irony gpu probably go to tsmc and the cpu to GF. It ought to be opposite but surely there is a good reason for it. What can that be?
 

ksec

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Basically AMD now has the flexibility of choosing the best fit for them instead of being stuck by WSA.

As much as i dislike Crypto, AMD needs to capture this as much as possible. Given they are losing ground in GPU YoY. I hope Lisa Su have something up her sleeve.
 

DrMrLordX

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WRT bolded text in the OP, I don't see 7nm mass production in 2019 as being late. We were all expecting 7nm Vega and Zen 3/Ryzen 2 in 2019, and probably not in Q1. Weren't we?
 

astroboy888

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Sounds more like the "CPU" manufactured on TSMC is probably just a console APU (as their semi-custom partners have zero faith in global foundries), as there's no reason other than that for AMD to produce their own CPUs on TSMC.

GF can tune their process specifically for AMD CPUs whereas AMD is no where near a big enough player to demand custom nodes from TSMC (like Nvidia apparently can)
Probably AMD designed Microsoft Xbox CPU/APU. Microsoft does have a dedicated line at TSMC.
 
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NTMBK

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I don't buy the claim that 7nm Vega is only for AI/deep learning. AMD just don't have that much market share there, not nearly enough to justify porting an entire architecture to 7nm and designing a 7nm chip (which will no doubt be even more expensive than on 14nm). I think we'll see a 7nm Vega GPU in one of the next console APUs, and given the timeline I suspect we'll see it on TSMC.
 
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jpiniero

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I don't buy the claim that 7nm Vega is only for AI/deep learning.
You almost have to build a purpose-driven chip to be competitive. I imagine it would be nothing more than Vega 56/64 with 1/2 DP and something similar to tensor cores... and additional CUs based upon how much space doing that takes up. AMD could of course sell something similar to Titan V. If Navi is a scalable design that would make much more sense for discrete GPUs although it's not really clear when that would be ready.

Consoles are more of a 2020 thing... I reckon they would want yields to be in much better shape and/or the second wave of 7 nm which includes EUV. The 2019 7 nm CPUs is just Matisse, and that could very well be done at TSMC.
 

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