TSMC is poised to manufacture CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, and FPGAs for AMD in the next few years with state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. However, AMD will continue to outsource the production of its older products to GlobalFoundries and Samsung Foundry. Digi TimesGiven the current geopolitical situation, Infer Chip designers are looking at SF as a potential alternative to TSMC as well as GF.
old product for now
DigiTimes claims that TSMC will produce Zen 4 and Zen 5 based products for AMD using the N5/N4 (5nm and 4nm class) and N3 (3nm class) manufacturing processes in the coming years. GlobalFoundries and Samsung Foundry, on the other hand, will produce AMD’s processors based on the older Zen and Zen+ microarchitectures and previous-generation GPUs using the SF 14LPP and GF 12LP production nodes.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that AMD is working with Samsung Foundry to produce some of its chips. Tech Going reported that AMD will outsource some of its older products to Samsung Foundry. Bearing in mind that GlobalFoundries licensed his 14LPE and 14LPP technology from Samsung, it would be easy for AMD to dual-source some of its older offerings.In fact, AMD confirmed (opens in new tab) He told analyst Patrick Moorhead in 2016 that he could tap into Samsung Foundry’s capabilities if needed.
GlobalFoundries is busy producing chips for various customers including Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek and NXP. As such, AMD might want to reserve additional of his 12nm/14nm-class capacity at Samsung Foundry, just in case. On the other hand, considering the current geopolitical situation, AMD may consider his Samsung Foundry as a potential alternative to his TSMC. This is why.
maybe something new later
GlobalFoundries, once AMD’s primary production partner, stopped developing cutting-edge process technology in 2018 and shifted its focus to specialized production nodes. If the company switches to a specialized sub-10nm manufacturing process, most of AMD’s main requirements will likely shift to 5nm or 3nm class manufacturing technology. As a result, AMD may outsource some of the parts that require specialized nodes to his GlobalFoundries, but we can’t expect GF to produce a mass market product for AMD anytime soon.
Samsung Foundry, by contrast, continues to develop cutting-edge manufacturing technology while competing fiercely with TSMC. Samsung Foundry’s cutting-edge manufacturing process yields are reportedly not as high as his TSMC’s, but the company can serve chip designers who need cutting-edge technology.
For now, the sky at TSMC is blue. But if tensions between China, Taiwan, and the US lead to military conflict or a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, AMD will need an alternative to the world’s largest foundry. His 20A technology from Intel Foundry Services (IFS) won’t be available to fabless chip designers until 2024, so for now, TSMC’s only other option is his Samsung Foundry.
Of course, AMD is arguably considering IFS and its future nodes, as are other major chip developers.
Digi Times When Tech Going Both report that AMD outsourced to SF within six months. By working with Samsung Foundry, AMD can learn how to work with chip contract manufacturers, how to use its packaging, and what to expect in general from SF.
AMD could use Samsung Foundry’s state-of-the-art production node if something goes wrong with TSMC. Speculation It has not been confirmed by industry sources at this time. To use Samsung Foundry’s advanced tech, AMD would have to redesign the chip for his SF node. This will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and cost AMD a lot. Still, AMD’s experience with GlobalFoundries could be more than worth it if the situation between China, Taiwan and the US turns dire.