Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

No 20 nm GPUs from AMD This Year

It's not just NVIDIA, which will lack 20 nm GPUs in its portfolio this year. AMD senior vice-president Lisa Su, responding to a question by Wells Fargo, in its Q1 investors call, confirmed that her company will stay on 28 nm throughout 2014, and it's only later that it will move on to 20 nm, and FinFET after that. "I think what I said earlier sort of what we're doing in terms of technology strategy, we are 28 this year, we have 20-nanometer in design, and then FinFET thereafter. So that's the overall product portfolio," she said.

AMD and NVIDIA manufacture their GPUs on a common foundry, TSMC, which has faced delays in implementing its 20 nanometer silicon fab node transition, forcing both companies to come up with new GPUs on existing 28 nm nodes. A huge leap in performance could be a tough ask for those new GPUs. NVIDIA is expected to tape out its performance-segment GM204 and mid-range GM206 chips, both of which are 28 nm, later this month, and the first GeForce GTX products based on the two are expected to roll out by late-Q4 2014 and early-Q1 2015, respectively.


Source: Seeking Alpha
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42 Comments on No 20 nm GPUs from AMD This Year

#1
Constantine Yevseyev
Not surprising. What they probably will do is they'll just continue rebranding Radeon series further, like, R7 300 and R9 300 Series for OEM (I'm almost sure we'll see new Pavilion's and XPS' w/ something like R9 375 this fall).
They might also spit out something like R9 285X (if they'll need to get rid of HD 7990 remains, LOL), but that's most unlikely.
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#2
mr2009
so its gonna be another boring year from AMD? again? at least nvidia shows something promising from 750ti. And no more rebranding please...
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#3
john_
I don't think they really mind about that. It's Nvidia who will be most unhappy with the 20nm delay. Maxwell looks much more advanced compared to Kepler than Hawaii compared to Tahiti. So the delay it gives in fact more time for AMD to improve it's designs, while at the same time it forces Nvidia to create more 28nm models than going straight to 20nm with Maxwell.
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#4
RejZoR
Isn't NVIDIA planning GTX 8xx series this year?
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#5
DZZRtt
Thanks God. My wife would not approve another annual upgrade :)
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#6
Mathragh
According to this dutch site, from 20nm on they'll probably use globalfoundries instead of TSMC for their GPU's.

With Globalfoundries' announcement that they'll lease Samsung's 14nm finfet process there are interesting times ahead in semiconductor land for sure!
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#7
Lionheart
The fanboys are ruining this site o_O
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#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: RejZoR
Isn't NVIDIA planning GTX 8xx series this year?
Yeah, and they're 28 nm.
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#9
Chaitanya
by: btarunr
Yeah, and they're 28 nm.
So its better to skip those until GTX-9XX series comes out with 20nm process. :shadedshu:
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#10
Over_Lord
News Editor
Still using an HD 5850. Best purchase ever.
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#11
HumanSmoke
by: Over_Lord
Still using an HD 5850. Best purchase ever.
Probably the best bang for buck card I've owned in the last few years. So good that when I sold my XFX Black Editions, I "upgraded" to the Sapphire Toxic 2GB HD 5850's in my AMD machine.
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#12
TheDeeGee
by: RejZoR
Isn't NVIDIA planning GTX 8xx series this year?
Yes, planned for June.

GM204, either a 870 or 880 on a 28nm node.
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#13
Constantine Yevseyev
by: HumanSmoke
Probably the best bang for buck card I've owned in the last few years. So good that when I sold my XFX Black Editions, I "upgraded" to the Sapphire Toxic 2GB HD 5850's in my AMD machine.
So... You have upgraded from 2X 5850 to 2X 5850?..
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#14
buggalugs
Ya well no surprise, if TSMC aren't doing 20nm for NVidia they sure as hell aren't doing it for AMD either.
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#15
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
Nothing really new, TSMC has always been behind on forecast size reduction dates. Current GPU's are more than powerful enough for the typical gamers requirements. Until some next gen game actually brings something new to the table (which so far, none have), I don't forsee people requiring an upgrade for some time. At least we have a year for the GPU manufacturers to get on top of their drivers and squeeze every bit of performance from our cards, we may see some longevity yet.
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#17
HisDivineOrder
Really makes the upgrade scenario a lot easier. Wanted to wait for DX12 anyway to get a better picture of how things would play out.

Now I can wait for 20nm AND DX12 next year. Maxwell will offer a bit better performance and a bit better power usage/heat production (if 750 Ti is anything to go by), but it's easy enough to wait.

Meanwhile, this puts nVidia into a forced tick-tock cadence. nVidia goes to a new architecture on existing fab, then next year moves to a newer fab with existing architecture. In a lot of ways, this plays to nVidia's interests regardless of whether it was forced on them or not.

And you just know that initial 20nm production is being centered on mobile device hardware anyway.
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#18
20mmrain
SO I am confused by this article and the last one. Both articles say they will be tapping out new chips this month, but then say they won't release until Q4 2014/Q1 2015. It really takes that long to bring a chip from tap out to market??? So are they saying the 20nm chips won't release until Q4/Q1 and new 28nm chips will? Or visa versa?

*Never mind*
Answered my own question....
"
Yes, planned for June.

GM204, either a 870 or 880 on a 28nm node."

Sigh.... so both companies are going to release another minor step in performance for 6 months then release the real deal. ....... Sigh again figures!
What they should do is hold off and wait fro the real new Gen.
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#19
arbiter
by: 20mmrain
SO I am confused by this article and the last one. Both articles say they will be tapping out new chips this month, but then say they won't release until Q4 2014/Q1 2015. It really takes that long to bring a chip from tap out to market??? So are they saying the 20nm chips won't release until Q4/Q1 and new 28nm chips will? Or visa versa?

*Never mind*
Answered my own question....
"
Yes, planned for June.

GM204, either a 870 or 880 on a 28nm node."
June announce, dec rls. Is 6 months which is normal time frame for things.
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#20
HumanSmoke
by: Constantine Yevseyev
So... You have upgraded from 2X 5850 to 2X 5850?..
Pretty much. The Toxic's overclocked better, were quieter, and had better resale value. I replaced them briefly with a 5970 (sidegrade) which was garbage in comparison. Was never a fan of dual GPU cards- the 5970 pretty much hit every bullet point that argues against buying a duallie.
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#21
Casecutter
by: 20mmrain

Sigh.... so both companies are going to release another minor step in performance for 6 months then release the real deal. ....... Sigh again figures!
What they should do is hold off and wait fro the real new Gen.
Your "Sigh" should be for TSCM not the companies waiting to get their sh#t figured out. And why we really need another competitive Fab instead of beholding to just the one. I'd don't know if GFlo will ever get in the mix, but there needs to be some leverage to press TSCM to be more... Face it, they botched 28Nm when it left the gate and neither company wants to be some guinea pig again.
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#22
Hilux SSRG
by: Casecutter
Your "Sigh" should be for TSCM not the companies waiting to get their sh#t figured out. And why we really need another competitive Fab instead of beholding to just the one. I'd don't know if GFlo will ever get in the mix, but there needs to be some leverage to press TSCM to be more... Face it, they botched 28Nm when it left the gate and neither company wants to be some guinea pig again.
GlobalFoundies is on the rise and a good competitor to TMSC, its just unfortunate that AMD and NVidia have signed 20nm chip contracts with TMSC - notorious for hyping up release dates and missing
them.

At lease there is hope in the future - GlobalFoundries recently signed licensing terms with Samsung for the 14nm FinFET and abandoned their in house 14nm.
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#23
64K
by: Casecutter
Your "Sigh" should be for TSCM not the companies waiting to get their sh#t figured out. And why we really need another competitive Fab instead of beholding to just the one. I'd don't know if GFlo will ever get in the mix, but there needs to be some leverage to press TSCM to be more... Face it, they botched 28Nm when it left the gate and neither company wants to be some guinea pig again.
Or pay for wafers with a bunch of partially defective GPUs on it. IIRC TSMC was charging by the wafer so it was a gamble what the yield would be on the GK110 per wafer at least until TSMC got their act together.
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#24
TheBrainyOne
Well AMD, since you are free now, you better improve your drivers. Also, improve your your boost algorithms. (Powertune on 290/290X is good but the range of voltages in 3D mode is really really less.)
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#25
midnightoil
Given that TSMC's 20nm process has been hugely delayed and is very expensive, without huge gains in density from 28nm (albeit with power draw reductions), this is hardly a surprise.

It's much more economic for both AMD and NVIDIA to wait. This has been known for ages. All the bullshit about 20nm cards (mainly NVIDIA) this year had been completely fabricated, either just idle speculation or made up to promote page views.

Add to the above that NVIDIA simply can't use the low power process (they have to use the high power process) and there's enormous competition for wafers on the 20nm low power process from ARM SoCs, and it makes absolutely no sense for either to use it this year (or perhaps at all).

AMD's next cards will either be TSMC 28nm or GF 28nm (the latter is looking increasingly likely), with the next generation definitely moving to GF on either FD-SOI and / or a smaller process.

NVIDIA's next cards will be 28nm, ones after may well skip 20nm entirely if 14nm isn't hugely delayed.
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