AMD CEO Lisa Su, who recently visited Taiwan, said AMD has shifted production of nearly all of its key products to TSMC in recent years and is in no rush to add other manufacturing partners. Despite rumors that AMD may move some of its orders to the Samsung Foundry, AMD officials seem unprepared to make any concrete comments on the matter.
“Usually, we don’t publicly comment on specific products or order details, but TSMC is an important partner,” Su said when asked in Taiwan to comment on rumors about a partnership with Samsung Foundry, according to reports. business korea. “The Instinct MI300, a world-class accelerator for generative AI that AMD plans to launch later this year, is very complex.”
On paper, fabless chip designers can work collaboratively with multiple foundries, but this usually comes with many constraints. First, the state-of-the-art process technologies from various contract chipmakers are incompatible. His 5nm-class chips from TSMC will have to be redesigned for production at the Samsung Foundry. When dealing with a complex product like AMD’s Instinct MI300, such redesign costs can be too high.
Second, fabless chip developers tend to reuse IP across different product lines to save costs, and the use of multiple foundries limits this capability, or at least makes it less attractive. Third, buying in bulk from a single supplier offers many benefits, including tailored process technology and discounts. Of course, some companies, such as Qualcomm, can afford to work with multiple contract chipmakers and reap the benefits, but that’s because they’re buying huge amounts of chips from everyone.
“We will continue to work with our partners in Taiwan because we cannot launch this product without a good partner like TSMC,” Su added, emphasizing the importance of TSMC to the company.
But when she visited Tokyo later that week, Su didn’t seem so determined.
An AMD executive said: Nikkei newspaper The company said it would “consider other manufacturing capabilities” for non-TSMC chip production to “ensure the most resilient supply chain.”
Meanwhile, TSMC is building factories in the US and Japan, which will inevitably ensure supply chain resilience. So AMD may not be willing to work with TSMC rivals like Samsung Foundry and Intel Foundry Services at all for the reasons above. At least for now.