With the announcement that its long-time manufacturing partner (and outright former fab) GlobalFoundries is dropping out of the race for bleeding-edge manufacturing nodes, the second big question of the day has been what this means for AMD. For all intents and purposes, AMD and GlobalFoundries have been tied at the hip since GloFo was spun off from AMD back in 2009, and consequently GloFo has always been AMD’s fab of choice for CPUs, and more recently GPUs. So with GlobalFoundries’ changes to their process development plans, AMD is outlining their new partnerships and manufacturing plans.
In short, AMD is now shifting over the bulk of their bleeding-edge development to TSMC. The company is careful to note that they “intend to focus the breadth” of their 7nm production at TSMC rather than all 7nm production – leaving open the possibility of using TSMC rival Samsung in the future – but the message is clear that we should expect AMD’s major 7nm products to be fabbed out of TSMC now that GlobalFoundries is no longer an option.
TSMC being AMD’s new bleeding-edge partner should of course come as no surprise, as TSMC has been the fab AMD has fallen back on for other projects in the past. TSMC was until the most recent generation the fab AMD used for their GPUs, and it’s where their semi-custom APUs for Microsoft and Sony have been made. Meanwhile AMD and TSMC have already previously announced that some of AMD’s forthcoming 7nm products, including their 7nm Vega and “Rome” EPYC CPU would be fabbed by the Taiwanese foundry. So today’s announcement is largely confirmation that AMD is going to continue down this path, with most (if not all) of their other planned 7nm products ending up at TSMC as well.