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Question Speculation: How would it affect AMD if Intel bought GlobalFoundries?

GunsMadeAmericaFree

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I just heard the news that Intel may be buying GlobalFoundries. I find myself wondering: if Intel ends up owning the factory that makes AMD chips, what would keep Intel from prioritizing their own interests?
 

Mopetar

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Jan 31, 2011
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They wouldn't be able to do anything about contractual agreements AMD already has with Global Foundries. It would also be pretty stupid of them to buy a fab that they intend to use to get third party business while turning away one of the biggest potential customers. AMD would likely just end up buying wafers from Samsung if they didn't want to be solely reliant on TSMC.
 

A///

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Intel can either honor the contract or pay an incredibly hefty termination fee to AMD. You're also assuming this deal will either:

A) Go through

B) Gain regulatory approval


GF and Intel could agree but a regulating body or even a country that has a say can deny the sale. It isn't as clear cut as people think it is. There's been zero confirmation and this entire hoopla is based on a random rumor that popped up. There has been no formal offer made, and even if Intel did today, they're looking at least a year before they can close. The ARM-NVidia deal is up in limbo because of China looking to block it and the UK gov putting a freeze as it investigates their national security risk in an American company acquiring ARM.

It's like AMD wanting to buy Bosch's foundry business, for example. It'd be a blow to German's national security and would go through fine-combed scrutiny.
 
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Mopetar

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AMD doesn't really have any more strings attached to Global Foundries after changes were made to the wafer supply agreement a few years ago. They've still committed to ~$1.6 billion in purchases through 2024, but they're presumably fine with letting Global Foundries manufacture IO dies and low-end APUs for them. However they don't need to pay Global Foundries anything for using other fabs and don't have obligations to do future business with them.
 

Vattila

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Oct 22, 2004
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In the long run, if Intel Foundry Services (IFS) is successful, AMD may use them to manufacture future chips. Regarding concerns about current services from GlobalFoundries, if it should become part of IFS, I think AMD's wafer supply agreement would in all likelihood still be effective — otherwise AMD would seek compensation, I presume. Substantial contracts like this usually cover all eventualities. Any anti-competitive move would be counterproductive for IFS and attract regulatory scrutiny.
 
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Doug S

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Intel will need to separate the two businesses more formally like Samsung before AMD is likely to consider them. There's a reason why Samsung has all those divisions that are separately incorporated. Intel will have to do the same if they want to get serious about being a foundry, and will have to honor wafer supply guarantees from third parties when things get tight even if it means a shortage of Intel CPUs result just like Samsung has done in the past.
 

aigomorla

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AMD would likely just end up buying wafers from Samsung if they didn't want to be solely reliant on TSMC.
if it was only this easy.....

Samsung does not have the fabs to make anything for AMD.
It would take samsung too long to build fabs and be too expensive to facilitate AMD also, that samsung would probably not find it profitable.

Intel securing GloFo, it sort of feels like someone from intel tenure board member wanted to get back at AMD one last time before retiring and decided that assimilating AMD's old fabs is a sweet revenge before retirement.
 

Mopetar

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Samsung does not have the fabs to make anything for AMD.
It would take samsung too long to build fabs and be too expensive to facilitate AMD also, that samsung would probably not find it profitable.
What do you mean they don't have the fabs? They not only produce their own mobile SoCs but are also doing Nvidia's GPUs. They're even responsible for a lot of the process technology that Global Foundries was using for 14nm. A few years ago there were even a few rumors that Samsung was considering buying Global Foundries.

AMD doesn't even need a bleeding edge node from Samsung considering they'd mainly be making the same IO dies that GF was making for them. I would imagine that Samsung has other uses for their older process nodes or has other customers that can make use of them, but it's not going to be nearly as competitive as the latest nodes.
 
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aigomorla

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What do you mean they don't have the fabs? They not only produce their own mobile SoCs but are also doing Nvidia's GPUs.
Fabs and nodes are completely different.
You have a FAB, and you want to make a node, you can not just use the same FAB on a different node.
Samsung can not make a complicated chip outside ARM.
They have not needed to, and china has showed us how difficult it is with there sorry excuse of a processor.

AMD is on a 5nm node, samsung does not have the facility to make something for AMD outside GDDR.

Not even Intel could facilitate AMD.

This is why i am saying intel taking over glofo feels like revenge in losing market share by some salty Intel board members.
What do they need from GloFo? AMD even gave up on GloFo. It seems also like a roadblock to stop AMD from getting back there FABs as well.
 

dr1337

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Fabs and nodes are completely different.
You have a FAB, and you want to make a node, you can not just use the same FAB on a different node.
Samsung can not make a complicated chip outside ARM.
They have not needed to, and china has showed us how difficult it is with there sorry excuse of a processor.

AMD is on a 5nm node, samsung does not have the facility to make something for AMD outside GDDR.

Not even Intel could facilitate AMD.

This is why i am saying intel taking over glofo feels like revenge in losing market share by some salty Intel board members.
What do they need from GloFo? AMD even gave up on GloFo. It seems also like a roadblock to stop AMD from getting back there FABs as well.
Im sorry but almost the entirety of your post is wrong and your speculation on intel would only make sense if this wasn't gelsingers intel. AMD isn't on 5nm yet and even if they were, samsungs cutting edge nodes are still better than plain old 12nm as nvidias ampere on 8nm has demonstrated. And given that samsung is literally making a SOC with AMD graphics... yeah, samsung indeed does have the facilities to make more than just dram.
 

aigomorla

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AMD isn't on 5nm yet and even if they were

AMD is on 5nm... if we were speaking hypothetical in lets ask samsung, it would be Zen4 they make, and that is 5nm.
Samsung 5nm node is a LPE

its not anywhere near designed to make a Complicated A64 processors.
 

Saylick

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Sep 10, 2012
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AMD is on 5nm... if we were speaking hypothetical in lets ask samsung, it would be Zen4 they make, and that is 5nm.
Samsung 5nm node is a LPE

its not anywhere near designed to make a Complicated A64 processors.
For the record, I don't even think TSMC's N5 and Samsung's 5LPE node are even comparable, at least not on a density basis. TSMC's N5 node is one node ahead of Samsung's 5LPE, which is based on their 7LPP node, and Samsung likely won't achieve density parity until their 3GAE node. Long story short: AMD cannot simply hop from TSMC N5 to Samsung's 5LPE because they are not equivalent. AMD would have to ask Samsung to use their 3GAE/GAP/whatever it's called these days node, which we all know ain't ready yet, and AMD is not going to wait for Samsung to catch up to TSMC.



This article is two years old but it highlights the differences between TSMC and Samsung.

 

A///

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Intel securing GloFo, it sort of feels like someone from intel tenure board member wanted to get back at AMD one last time before retiring and decided that assimilating AMD's old fabs is a sweet revenge before retirement.
There is that small part of reality being that AMD would prefer this so they're not attached to GloFlo for the next 3 years until their last stage agreement comes to an end. In other words, some old executive who hasn't been following the news or simply not capable of making the conclusion that AMD would prefer not having to deal with GloFlo ever again.

TSMC would bite and offer AMD their entire stack if it came to that, and their stuff is likely more impressive than whatever GloFlo can come up with anytime soon, let alone Intel. Maybe Intel's tenure board should focus on making a quality product that's not slow, hot as heck, and a waste of sand and precious metals.


I'm not sure why Samsung would even be considered in this instance. Didn't they fumble 8nm? There's some rumor that Samsung completely missed their productions goals and came up way short of delivering product to NVidia and are still having trouble delivering enough workable GPUs. I don't know how true that is but it's something I've been told a few times now. This was before last month's news that Samsung was having yield issues.
 
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Saylick

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I'm not sure why Samsung would even be considered in this instance. Didn't they fumble 8nm? There's some rumor that Samsung completely missed their productions goals and came up way short of delivering product to NVidia and are still having trouble delivering enough workable GPUs. I don't know how true that is but it's something I've been told a few times now. This was before last month's news that Samsung was having yield issues.
I think the original goal was to use Samsung's 7nm family of nodes, but it wasn't ready in time so Nvidia used what I presume is Samsung's 8LPP node (with some tweaks so that JHH can fuel his marketing team's claim of a custom node), which was more mature at the time. Rumors are that the next generation of Nvidia GPUs (the one after Ampere Refresh) will finally use Samsung's 5nm nodes, either 5LPE or 5LPP with Nvidia's usual tweaks of course.

The process is called 8N because it is specifically designed for Nvidia’s use and should include various unspecified improvements and modifications. It should therefore be a better technology than the 8LPP process used by some mobile phone SoCs. According to some sources, modifications done for Nvidia result in up to 10% higher performance (meaning higher frequency could be achieved) than the original version of the process that was focused more on mobile SoCs. However, this process probably achieves lower energy efficiency and transistor density than the real 7nm process, which in the case of Samsung is employs EUV lithography. It’s likely that the 8N process is also inferior to TSMC’s 7nm node.
Source: https://www.hwcooling.net/en/ampere-gpu-deep-dive-whats-new-in-geforce-rtx-3000-architecture/
 
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A///

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I think the original goal was to use Samsung's 7nm family of nodes, but it wasn't ready in time so Nvidia used what I presume is Samsung's 8LPP node (with some tweaks so that JHH can fuel his marketing team's claim of a custom node), which was more mature at the time. Rumors are that the next generation of Nvidia GPUs (the one after Ampere Refresh) will finally use Samsung's 5nm nodes, either 5LPE or 5LPP with Nvidia's usual tweaks of course.


Source: https://www.hwcooling.net/en/ampere-gpu-deep-dive-whats-new-in-geforce-rtx-3000-architecture/
I'm quoting this and understanding what you said, but you triggered a memory of an article I recall reading about just this and how NVidia was supposedly playing games with the foundries and got screwed. This still doesn't bode well because Samsung is reportedly having yield issues across the node lineups. Companies aren't using them because they have a good product, according to what I've read and been told, but forced to because TSMC has limited free space and Samsung is offering deep discounts.
 

Saylick

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Sep 10, 2012
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I'm quoting this and understanding what you said, but you triggered a memory of an article I recall reading about just this and how NVidia was supposedly playing games with the foundries and got screwed. This still doesn't bode well because Samsung is reportedly having yield issues across the node lineups. Companies aren't using them because they have a good product, according to what I've read and been told, but forced to because TSMC has limited free space and Samsung is offering deep discounts.
Yes, I am aware of that article/story. See bullet point #4 below.

As for yield issues, that's what happens when you are the underdog in the fab space and in order to catch up, you take on a more aggressive schedule and/or try to implement advanced technologies earlier than the competition. High risk, high reward. Unfortunately, development in semiconductor nodes cannot be easily accelerated by throwing more money/time/resources at the problem. Intel learned that mistake with 10nm and now 7nm, and Samsung is learning that now with 5nm and GAAFET. TSMC's real success comes from a history of taking small, incremental steps: slow and steady wins the race.


Source:
 

A///

Golden Member
Feb 24, 2017
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Yep, I'm aware of how TSMC operates. I used to work for a company that was and still is a TSMC partner. Though, at the time of my employment with said company, TSMC wasn't close to being the powerhouse it is today. Kind of humorous if you think about it, or not if you're their competitor. o_O
 

Doug S

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Feb 8, 2020
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its not anywhere near designed to make a Complicated A64 processors.
Oh brother, this crap again. I remember when people were saying that TSMC can only make mobile CPUs, and could not make high power desktop or server CPUs. Where did all those people go when TSMC started making high power desktop and server CPUs for AMD?

You're going to be in for a surprise soon as Samsung has been delivering POWER10 CPUs to IBM for RISC servers that will ship later this year. Is the ability to fab a 600 mm^2 die with 18 metal layers and 180 watt TDP enough in your book to make a "complicated A64 processor", whatever that is?

:rolleyes:
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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sigh... no comment...

Im just laughing inside at how many guys here think a FAB is like a large scale 3D printer, able to make anything as long as there is a working template.

OK if you guys think that...

Oh brother, this crap again. I remember when people were saying that TSMC can only make mobile CPUs, and could not make high power desktop or server CPUs. Where did all those people go when TSMC started making high power desktop and server CPUs for AMD?

You're going to be in for a surprise soon as Samsung has been delivering POWER10 CPUs to IBM for RISC servers that will ship later this year. Is the ability to fab a 600 mm^2 die with 18 metal layers and 180 watt TDP enough in your book to make a "complicated A64 processor", whatever that is?

:rolleyes:
Did you completely miss this guys post? From your comment apparently you did.
Samsung currently as of now and most likely until the end of this year can not make Ryzen cpu's unless they overhall the 5nm FABs they have over to ~N5 and not LPE...
And even then, making a new fab is probably cheaper, and it still takes 2 yrs+ to construct.

LPE incase u didnt know is even below LPP, so its not even a single step away for Samsung to be able to produce similar silicon as TSMC.
I honestly love how many of you guys are really underestimating how advance TSMC is, and why China wants it so badly.

But here read this guys comments again, he nails it without getting too complicated and technical on why i said that comment.

For the record, I don't even think TSMC's N5 and Samsung's 5LPE node are even comparable, at least not on a density basis. TSMC's N5 node is one node ahead of Samsung's 5LPE, which is based on their 7LPP node, and Samsung likely won't achieve density parity until their 3GAE node. Long story short: AMD cannot simply hop from TSMC N5 to Samsung's 5LPE because they are not equivalent. AMD would have to ask Samsung to use their 3GAE/GAP/whatever it's called these days node, which we all know ain't ready yet, and AMD is not going to wait for Samsung to catch up to TSMC.



This article is two years old but it highlights the differences between TSMC and Samsung.

 
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Doug S

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Feb 8, 2020
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sigh... no comment...

Im just laughing inside at how many guys here think a FAB is like a large scale 3D printer, able to make anything as long as there is a working template.

OK if you guys think that...



Did you completely miss this guys post? From your comment apparently you did.
Samsung currently as of now and most likely until the end of this year can not make Ryzen cpu's unless they overhall the 5nm FABs they have over to ~N5 and not LPE...
And even then, making a new fab is probably cheaper, and it still takes 2 yrs+ to construct.

LPE incase u didnt know is even below LPP, so its not even a single step away for Samsung to be able to produce similar silicon as TSMC.
I honestly love how many of you guys are really underestimating how advance TSMC is, and why China wants it so badly.

But here read this guys comments again, he nails it without getting too complicated and technical on why i said that comment.

I was responding to your claim that Samsung cannot make complicated processors. I noticed you totally ignored the fact that they are right now as we speak making POWER10 CPUs with quite large dies, which proved that claim was nonsense.

So now you're moving the goalposts and saying "oh I was talking about Samsung's 5nm not being the equal of TSMC's 5nm". That's well known, but doesn't mean that Samsung is unable to make AMD CPUs - just that those CPUs would be inferior to ones made on TSMC's N5. That fact doesn't matter though - most CPUs sold are not the high end bins, they could make more mainstream stuff with Samsung if they wanted (and ported the design etc.)
 

Mopetar

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Jan 31, 2011
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Fabs and nodes are completely different.
You have a FAB, and you want to make a node, you can not just use the same FAB on a different node.
I'm using fab as shorthand for the facility itself where chips are fabricated. The process node may or may not be the same at different facilities. In the case of Global Foundries 14nm process, they made a deal to acquire/share technology with Samsung, so I wouldn't be surprised if they have a lot in common as far as design rules. Companies typically have multiple different nodes in operation at anyone one time at various different facilities/fabs.

Samsung can not make a complicated chip outside ARM.
You should probably tell Nvidia and all the people who bought Ampere (3000 series) GPUs. I know there's a joke in there because allegedly Samsung has had yield issues, but this is just wrong.

They have not needed to, and china has showed us how difficult it is with there sorry excuse of a processor.
Samsung doesn't design everything they build at their fabs. They can take designs from others and build those chips.

AMD is on a 5nm node, samsung does not have the facility to make something for AMD outside GDDR.
What exactly prevents AMD from designing something for one of Samsung's processes?

Not even Intel could facilitate AMD.
Well they wouldn't so the point is moot, but what actually prevents them from doing so?
 
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