This weak, first time AMD has confirmed that the company’s engineers are already designing chips that will be manufactured on the technological process of 14nm FinFET, which uses transistors with a vertical shutter. AMD statement shows that the company will order the production of new chips from GlobalFoundries or Samsung Electronics but from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., current conditions would not allow them due to the huge price.
AMD: We are actively designing products in 14nm FinFET Chips
“We are actively designing a number of products in the 14nm FinFET process technology,” said Lisa Su, chief executive officer of AMD, during a conference call with investors.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of semiconductors, will offer its customers processes 16nm FinFET and 16nm FinFET+ since the third quarter of 2015. Company GlobalFoundries and Samsung Electronics will be used for the production processes with the element size of 14 nm, which is known as 14nm LPE (early version) and 14nm LPP (which will be available later). At the end of last year, Samsung has announced the launch of a commercial chip production technology 14nm LPE, GlobalFoundries preparing to start commercial production (mass production) of 14-nm chip technology 14-LPE in the first half of 2015.
AMD did not disclose which of its chips will be manufactured using 14-nm process technology. However, knowing the features of the current relationship between AMD and GlobalFoundries, it is logical to assume that the processes of 14nm will be used for the entire range of products of Advanced Micro Devices, including CPUs, GPUs Radeon, as well as chips manufactured to order for other players will also be entertained such as their APUs featuring in Gaming consoles.
TSMC is a traditionally chip manufacturer for AMD GPUs. If AMD plans to use 14nm FinFET process instead of 16nm FinFET, it would mean that the company will reduce its order to Taiwanese partner. Given that TSMC lags behind its competitors in terms of the introduction of new technological processes, the AMD chips to develop on a new process node under GlobalFoundries and Samsung seems logical.
On the other hand it is also possible that AMD placed a significant portion of orders to GlobalFoundries (or possibly to Samsung) and can be considered a wake-up call for TSMC, as AMD is one of the largest customers of the TSMC.
Separately, AMD confirmed that it will disclose more information about their long-term plans in the conference for financial analysts which will be held in May of this year. In this month GlobalFoundries plans to start production of chips on 14 nm technology, we can expect that the first AMD chip made in the 14nm process node technology will be launched in the first half of next year.
“Relative to timing on FinFET, we will be talking more about our long-term roadmaps at our financial analyst day,” said Ms. Su.