TSMC Begins Mass Production of 7nm Process, AMD Vega 7nm Confirmed, Zen 2 CPUs Expected Too – Production Capacity To Increase By 3 Times Next Year

Hassan Mujtaba

Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC has just confirmed that the mass production of their 7nm process node has just begun. The 7nm process would be used in new products which include orders from AMD too, who will be using the process to leverage their upcoming GPU and CPU hardware.

AMD 7nm Vega and 7nm Zen 2 CPUs Orders Received by TSMC, 7nm Mass Production Officially Begins

In a report published by Chinatimes, TSMC has officially begun mass production of their 7nm node at their Fab 15. It is stated that TSMC has already confirmed the production of AMD 7nm GPUs that are part of their Radeon Instinct and Radeon Pro lineups, expected to hit market availability in 2H 2018.

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That much is already known but the more interesting revelations in this report are that TSMC is expecting to win orders for AMD CPUs too. The only CPU that AMD has in their pipeline and uses 7nm process is the upcoming Zen 2 architecture which will be a big leap for the company in terms of performance and efficiency. The Zen 2 architecture will be deployed first in the 7nm EPYC Rome processors which are arriving next year and compete favorably against the Intel's yet to launch, 10nm Ice Lake-SP processors, based on AMD's internal performance estimates.

If the contract for 7nm CPUs is official, then it won't only be a huge win for TSMC but it would also be a big win for AMD themselves as TSMC is currently one of the topmost and state of the art, semiconductor manufacturing company and have delivered multiple products based on their FinFET technologies to companies such as Apple, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm. The 7nm TSMC process is expected to deliver a 35% increase in efficiency and yields compared to 16FF+. According to the US Technology Forum, 50% of the wafers will be completed this year and production capacity is expected to increase 3 times by next year.

Compared to its 10nm FinFET process, TSMC's 7nm FinFET features 1.6X logic density, ~20% speed improvement, and ~40% power reduction. TSMC set another industry record by launching two separate 7nm FinFET tracks: one optimized for mobile applications, the other for high-performance computing applications. via TMSC

This means that TSMC will be able to deliver a mass total of 1.1 million units by the next year, a three-fold increase over the current year. The AMD 7nm OEM orders are expected to being production in Q4 2018 and TSMC is expected 7nm to account for up to 20% of their Q4 2018 revenue. As for other nodes, TSMC will be beginning mass production on the 7nm+ using EUV technology next year, which will further reduce power consumption by 10%, compared to 7nm.

Also, AMD can select and use Fabs of both TSMC and Global Foundries to create their next-gen processors. This is made possible by Global Foundries using similar 7nm pitches and SRAM cells that are very close in design to TSMC, allowing Zen 2 7nm processors to be developed on either Fab without major differences.

Later this year, GF will use immersion steppers to tape out its first 7-nm chip, an AMD processor. An IBM processor will follow with ASICs coming in 2019, said Patton.

GF made the size of its 7-nm pitches and SRAM cells similar to those of TSMC to let designers like AMD use both foundries. AMD “will have more demand than we have capacity, so I have no issues with that,” he said of AMD using the Taiwan foundry. via EETimes

Then next year, the company is also expecting to begin the trial run of their 5nm process node which will be aimed at mobile processors and High-Performance computing chips. No product is mentioned since it's too early to talk about it but the production will be held at Fab 18 and mass production is expected around 2020.

AMD CPU Roadmap (2017-2022)

ArchitectureZen (4) / Zen (5)Zen (4) / Zen (4C)Zen (4) / Zen 3 (+)Zen (3) / Zen 3 (+)Zen (3) / Zen 2Zen (2) / Zen+Zen (1) / Zen+Zen (1)
Process Node5nm / 3nm?5nm5nm / 6nm7nm7nm7nm14nm / 12nm14nm
ServerEPYC TurinEPYC BergamoEPYC 'Genoa'EPYC 'Milan'EPYC 'Rome'EPYC 'Rome'EPYC 'Naples'EPYC 'Naples'
Max Server Cores / Threads256/512128/25696/19264/12864/12864/12832/6432/64
High End DesktopRyzen Threadripper 8000 SeriesRyzen Threadripper 7000 SeriesRyzen Threadripper 6000 Series (TBD)Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Series (Chagall)Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series (Castle Peak)Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series (Castle Peak)Ryzen Threadripper 2000 Series (Coflax)Ryzen Threadripper 1000 Series (White Haven)
Ryzen FamilyRyzen 8000 SeriesRyzen 7000 SeriesRyzen 6000 SeriesRyzen 5000 SeriesRyzen 4000/5000 SeriesRyzen 3000 SeriesRyzen 2000 SeriesRyzen 1000 Series
Max HEDT Cores / ThreadsTBDTBDTBD64/12864/12864/12832/6416/32
Mainstream DesktopRyzen 8000 Series (Granite Ridge)TBDRyzen 7000 Series (Raphael)Ryzen 5000 Series (Vermeer-X)Ryzen 5000 Series (Vermeer)Ryzen 3000 Series (Matisse)Ryzen 2000 Series (Pinnacle Ridge)Ryzen 1000 Series (Summit Ridge)
Max Mainstream Cores / ThreadsTBDTBD16/3216/3216/3216/328/168/16
Budget APURyzen 8000 (Strix Point Zen 5)Ryzen 7000 Series (Phoenix Zen 4)Ryzen 6000 Series (Rembrandt Zen 3+)Ryzen 5000 Series (Cezanne Zen 3)Ryzen 4000 Series (Renoir Zen 2)Ryzen 3000 Series (Picasso Zen+)Ryzen 2000 Series (Raven Ridge)N/A
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