Published in PC Hardware

AMD CTO discusses 7nm EPYC and Vega 7nm

by on29 August 2018

Both TSMC don’t worry about GloFo

The news that GlobalFoundries is walking away from 7nm manufacturing brought a lot of uncertainty to AMD’s roadmap and Mark Papermaster the CTO of the company has just posted a blog comforting investors and assuring customers that both CPU and GPU designs at 7nm are in safe hands at TSMC.

The industry was shaken by the announcement that GlobalFoundries will walk away from 7nm as it worked closely with AMD and at one point before 2009 were part of the AMD manufacturing group.

It turns out that AMD knew this all along as Papermaster confirmed that 7nm is an important milestone for AMD and that the 7nm portfolio includes the second-generation Zen 2 CPU core as well as Navi GPu architecture. Multiple 7nm were taped out by TSMC including the first 7nm GPU planned to launch later this year (Instinct Vega 7nm) as well as AMD's first 7nm server CPU that is planned for a 2019 launch.

Papermaster praises cooperation with TSMC and claims excellent results from early silicon. GlobalFoundries will continue doing AMD Ryzen, AMD Radeon and AMD EPYC processors in its New York fab in 12 and 14nm. This won't change.              

Our concern is that both Vega 7nm and Zen 2 are big processors. Don’t get us even started on EPYC, as this 32 and possibly even 48 core CPU will be a silicon beast. We will have to see if TSMC can deliver these products and have them in time.

The 7nm for Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei "tiny” mobile chips is certainly much easier than the big server, desktop CPUs. But let's have some confidence that TSMC can achieve good 7nm parts for AMD as it does know how to manufacture big chips. Nvidia Volta with 815 squre milimter and 21 billion transistor came out of TSMC and this is  something that Jen Hsun Huang Nvidia CEO called the biggest chip that the company ever made.

Fingers crossed that Navi, Vega 7nm and Zen 2 / EPYC come to market in time and perfom well. After all consumers will benefit the competition.   

Last modified on 29 August 2018
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