AMD skips 20 nm for its GPUs
For quite some time AMD has been stuck at the now old 32 nm production process for its processors and at 28 nm for its GPUs with no change seen in the foreseeable future. This has raised concerns about the ability of the company to successfully compete with Intel and NVIDIA but things do not seem that bad for AMD – according to online sources the company plans to entirely skip the 20 nm production process and directly jump to 14 nm sometime in year 2016.
The currently finest 14 nm tech process will likely be used for the upcoming AMD Zen processor but we will be talking about AMD’s GPUs here. The first AMD silicon to see and use the 14 nm process will be the upcoming 4th generation Radeon graphics cards line, known as Arctic Islands. However, AMD will likely have to employ some other company to produce the GPUs, which will be either TSMC or Global Foundries or even Samsung. The Korean smartphone maker has been using 14 nm for its Exynos 7 processors for quite some time now so it has experience in the matter.
The Arctic Islands line is expected to bring much lower TDP numbers to the market, apart from the new 14 nm tech process, as well as AMD’s most advanced stream processor architecture to date, including support for HBM2 memory, which offers 57 per cent more memory bandwidth at just 48 per cent the power consumption of current GDDR5 memory. In this task AMD will use some help from Hynix, which already has working HBM2 memory samples.