TSMC Will Produce 16nm FinFET+ CPUs for AMD – Volume Production by 2H 2016


The Italian publication Bitsandchips.it has reported (citing its own sources) that TSMC will be producing 16nm CPUs for the PC and Server Market based on the second generation 16nm FF+ process. There are currently 45 active projects in TSMC that are on this specific node, these include FPGAs, SoCs and as mentioned, high performance AMD CPUs. While ARM processors are a guarantee, the publication is referring to x86 processors which could be anything from Opteron processors to the upcoming Excavator CPU or the Zen CPU. tsmc_semiconductor_fab14_production

AMD 16nm FinFET+ CPUs Will be Produced by TSMC in 2H 2016 - Alleges Italian Report

Now Excavator is currently scheduled for Q1 2015, and it will be featured in the Carrizo APU (Kaveri's Successor). Interestingly, we had highly authentic reports claiming that Carrizo APU will actually be based on the 28nm process, which makes things very interesting now. Has AMD managed to ramp up its natural R&D progression  and we can expect Excavator on a node other than 28nm? Or is there no basis to these claims? Only time (or future leaks) will tell. You might remember that we recently wrote a piece on another report which claimed that only AMD GPUs are based on the 20nm process, which means that APUs won't be. Now while common sense dictates that the implication of the afore mention reports confirms a 28nm APU, I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, it goes both ways. Since, 16nm FF+ isn't 20nm after all.

Interestingly the source mentions a 20 core x86 processor (they are talking about Opteron I believe) from AMD that will allegedly also be produced on TSMC's 16nm FinFET process. According to the publication, the tape put of the chips on node 16FF+ will start in Q1 2015, with risk production by early 2016 and volume production by 2H 2016. AMD has always been partial to Global Foundries in the past for production of its CPUs so I don't know how much merit this claim actually holds. However, in all probability one possible scenario could be that some of AMD's x86 offerings are fabricated on TSMC 16FF+ while the rest revert back to Global Foundries or even Samsung. Oh, and I think this is a good time to remind you guys again that any post with a Rumor tag is not confirmed or authenticated, and therefore needs to be taken with a (you guessed it) pinch of salt. Thats all folks.