As per one source over at the South Korean tech forum Clien, AMD is reportedly planning to shift some of its chip production to Samsung, coming via Harukaze5719 (Twitter). Although the tech forum Clien has given us accurate predictions before, it is an open forum where anyone can post unverified claims.
The user in question has a strong track record of accurate predictions in the past though, but you should still exercise some caution with any leak or rumor.
With that being said, the leaker claims that AMD plans to outsource some of its lower ASP chip products to Samsung’s foundries, instead of relying on TSMC’s 7 nm process, where the company already fabricates its Zen 3, RDNA 2, EPYC lineup, and custom silicon solutions for latest-gen consoles.
AMD wants to increase production capacity by 50% or more, but obtaining production capacity from TSMC remains difficult, and TSMC has been unable to keep up due to prior commitments.
Therefore, AMD might consider having some of the GPUs and APUs baked by Samsung instead. AMD might leverage Samsung’s 8 nm or even smaller fabrication process nodes, to manufacture some of its future APUs and GPUs.
Since this is about production of the chips at both TSMC and Samsung, which means that there may be differences between the Samsung and TSMC dies.
TSMC has been having a hard time scaling its production facilities lately due to unprecedented demand from its consumers. The problem is that TSMC has to meet Apple’s huge demand, and Apple is said to have already secured the full 5nm production capacity as early as last summer, and TSMC’s 3nm node would also be likely prioritized for Apple.
However, it was reported last year in August 2020 that AMD would replace Apple as TSMC’s largest customer, at least in terms of quantity of wafers. Most of the businesses outsource their wafer production to TSMC’s factories and manufacturing processes, so this puts up a lot of strain on the production lines.
However, AMD is still weighing its options before committing to Samsung. Because shifting production to a new fab can be cost-intensive, and AMD could be better off by having some minor losses incurred by reduced volumes instead.
TSMC is also soliciting Apple and Intel’s help for its 2nm node’s research, so these companies will be given a much higher priority compared to AMD. It is still not very clear which production process or production processes are involved here.
But future AMD GPU/APU lines could be manufactured by Samsung. It remains to be seen if this comes to fruition or not, but AMD does have an agreement with Samsung for licensing the company’s mobile Exynos chips (to integrate the RDNA graphics architecture onto these Exynos chips).
Stay tuned for more tech news!