As part of AMD’s Financial Analyst Day 2020, the company gave the latest updates for its CPU and GPU roadmap. A lot of this we have seen before, with the company talking out to Zen 4 and Genoa on its datacenter CPU product line, out to Zen 3 and Ryzen 4000 with the consumer product line, and now with the RDNA/CDNA split between consumer and compute graphics. In previous graphs of a similar nature, AMD used the term ‘7nm+’ when referring to products beyond the first iteration of 7nm. AMD has today clarified to us that this does not mean they are using TSMC’s N7+ process node for those items.
TSMC has three high-level versions of its 7nm process:
- N7, which is the basic initial version using ‘DUV’ only tools (so no EUV),
- N7P, which is the second generation version of N7 which is also only DUV
- N7+, which is an EUV version of N7 for a number of layers in the metal stack
This nomenclature has been finalized within the past year or so.
Before this, AMD had presented various CPU and GPU roadmaps to the public. For the Zen 2 hardware, such as Ryzen 3000 series (Matisse), AMD had labeled this as ‘7nm’, which was all widely interpreted to mean TSMC’s N7 process. For future products, such as Zen 3, AMD had the slide listed as ‘7nm+’, which everyone had understood was ‘a better version of 7nm’.
Because AMD labeled those as 7nm+, when TSMC called its version of 7nm with EUV to be N7+, one of the obvious assumptions that people have made is that where AMD wrote 7nm+, it was to be on the N7+ process. We have since learned that this is not entirely correct.
In order to avoid confusion, AMD is dropping the ‘+’ from its roadmaps. In speaking with AMD, the company confirmed that its next generations of 7nm products are likely to use process enhancements and the best high-performance libraries for the target market, however it is not explicity stating whether this would be N7P or N7+, just that it will be ‘better’ than the base N7 used in its first 7nm line.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that AMD isn’t going to be using EUV in the future – we were told it will be on a case by case basis, and at this time they wanted to clarify that AMD is not making any specific clarifications of which version of 7nm from TSMC it plans to use. More will be detailed at future events.
Interested in more of our AMD Financial Analyst Day 2020 Coverage? Click here.