Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, AMD, has confirmed what we told you back in May 2014 – AMD’s 20nm products are coming next year.
Without going into many details about the actual chips, Su confirmed our report during the company’s Q2 financial conference call.
"We (AMD) will be shipping products in 20 nanometre next year and as we move forward obviously a FinFET is also important,” said Su.
FinFET is the next generation 16nm manufacturing process that Nvidia mentioned for its Parker chip that got pushed back to 2016. Erista is the next Tegra that is likely manufactured in the 20nm process that we expect in the first half of 2015. AMD on the other hand plans to replace its Beema tablet chip with Nolan. Nolan is AMD’s first 20nm product and of course AMD will make some graphics products based on the 20nm node. Again, this happens in 2015.
AMD CEO Rory Read also commented on the transition to 20nm and mentioned the old business side of the logic behind the transition. Rory says that you make a move to a new technology at the crossover point between profitability, cost of technology and cost of the product that the company can sell. Chipmakers are not moving 20nm simply because they can, a company moves to a lower manufacturing node to make higher performance products and makes some money selling them.
Rory also answered a question from John Pitzer of Credit Suisse, who inquired about the 20nm rollout. Rory told him that there is a lot of life in 28nm and that we will see some mix of both 28nm and 20nm chips for AMD. AMD will probably offer 32nm, 28nm and 20nm chips at the same time, depending on the product in its large portfolio and this is not a big surprise as Intel is just retiring some of its 32nm products, shipping 22nm products in volume and is about to start volume production of its 14nm parts.