Not a day goes by that Ryzen processors with Zen 3 architecture are not discussed in the context of compatibility with existing motherboards. Their announcement was planned for the current year, but new rumors attribute cardinal changes to AMD’s plans. New processors can be released only next year, but switch to a more advanced 5-nm production technology.
The sensation of Thursday was brought by the popular resource DigiTimes, which in the public part of its publication stated that TSMC will be able to start mass production of products using an improved version of the 5-nm process technology in the fourth quarter of this year. An expanded interpretation of the source material in Chinese was published by one popular blogger, and the news immediately began to sparkle in other colors.
It is alleged that TSMC approached the development of the so-called 5 nm + process technology ahead of schedule, since the first generation of 5-nm products began to roll off the assembly line only in April this year. The source attributes AMD’s initial intentions to use the 7-nm process technology with the so-called EUV lithography to produce Ryzen processors with Zen 3 architecture (Vermeer) in the fourth quarter of this year. AMD itself at the events for investors and analysts was lost in determining the version of the 7-nm process technology, which will be mastered by the next, and therefore even removed the “+” symbol from the corresponding presentations.
According to Taiwanese sources, TSMC should now free up production facilities originally reserved for 5-nm HiSilicon orders. As you know, US sanctions will not allow TSMC to supply any processors for the needs of Huawei since mid-September of this year. AMD, which until the spring of this year continued to complain about the limited TSMC quotas for the production of 7-nm products, could well use the opportunity to accelerate the transition to 5-nm technology.
Judging by the statements of TSMC representatives at the quarterly reporting conference, by the end of this year, the company expects to receive at least ten percent of all revenue from 5-nm production. The share of revenue from the production of 7-nm products has not been growing for the second quarter in a row. If AMD did not have enough such quotas, then its logical choice could be an accelerated transition to 5-nm technology – all the more so since it was still planned for 2021 for the production of EPYC server processors with Zen 4 (Genoa) architecture.
According to the source, Vermeer will have to delay the announcement of these processors to pay for the migration of a more advanced technical process. Their formal debut can now take place no earlier than January 2021. Most likely, AMD uses the familiar CES platform for the announcement, and the first 5-nm processors of the brand will hit the market a little later.
Such radical changes in AMD’s plans may turn out to be just rumors, so the information mentioned above should be treated with some distrust. Company CEO Lisa Su is due to speak at the Bernstein conference tomorrow. Will the guests of the event bother to ask her clarifying questions about the fate of consumer processors with Zen 3 architecture, we will find out no earlier than Friday.
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