AMD To Stick With 28nm Across All Products This Year – Says 20nm Being Designed For 2015, FinFET Later On

Hassan Mujtaba

During their quarterly earnings call for Q1 2014, AMD revealed that they would stick with 28nm across all their products as opposed to 20nm which is the process reserved for their future products. Many have their eyes on AMD's next generation of graphics cards which will feature new and improved 20nm process technology but we have to wait a bit more to see those GPUs in action.AMD 20nm

AMD To Stick With 28nm Across All Products This Year

Lisa Su (Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units at AMD) revealed that their graphics and semi-custom business products are both on 28nm. We have seen several 28nm products across AMD graphics and processors designs which include the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series for graphics while Steamroller, Jaguar powering AMD's processors and accelerated processing units. The transcript of the session can be seen below:

Lisa Su – SVP and General Manager of Global Business Units

Sure, Chris. So let me take that and give you a little bit of our thinking.

So in terms of product and technology selection, certainly we need to be at the leading-edge of the technology roadmap. So what we’ve said in the past is certainly this year all of our products are in 28-nanometer across both, you know, graphics client and our semi-custom business. We are, you know, actively in the design phase for 20-nanometer and that will come to production. And then clearly we’ll go to FinFET. So that would be the progression of it.

Lisa Su – SVP and General Manager of Global Business Units

David, I think what I said earlier sort of what we’re doing in terms of technology strategy, we are 28 this year, we have 20-nanometer in design, and then FinFET thereafter. So that’s the overall product portfolio. via Seeking Alpha

So what does this mean for AMD? Of course, it should be made clear now that we won't be looking at any 20nm based products this year but to say that AMD will never release anything on a 20nm process would be a false stat-ment since Lisa confirms that 20nm is being designed at the moment but just not ready for mass production so we will have to wait till at least 2015 before we will look at any new 20nm GPU from AMD. As for the processor dept, AMD is expected to release Carrizo APU next year which will feature AMD's high performance Excavator core which is also reported to be based on a 28nm process but we may see some 20nm low power Jaguar and Puma replacement by then.

This could however hint at that 20nm supply is currently pretty low since production hasn't started yet by AMD and the same could be true for NVIDIA who are expected to introduce their Maxwell GeForce/Tesla/Quadro GPU lineups during 2H of 2014. If true, then NVIDIA may end up sticking to 28nm for Maxwell if they plan to introduce their graphics card earlier then AMD. NVIDIA did release their first Maxwell GPUs (GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750) on the existing 28nm process and they proved to be the most power efficient cards ever built in the GPU industry, with first hand experience on their hand, NVIDIA could launch their first generation Maxwell GPUs on 28nm followed by 20nm second generation Maxwell chips later on. NVIDIA had previously confirmed that their GeForce Maxwell graphics cards will arrive in 2H 2014 but haven't mentioned the exact process.

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