Tuesday, September 17th 2019

TSMC Trembles Under 7 nm Product Orders, Increases Delivery Lead Times Threefold - Could Hit AMD Product Availability

TSMC is on the vanguard of chipset fabrication technology at this exact point in time - its 7 nm technology is the leading-edge of all large volume processes, and is being tapped by a number of companies for 7 nm silicon. One of its most relevant clients for our purposes, of course, is AMD - the company now enjoys a fabrication process lead over arch-rival Intel much due to its strategy of fabrication spin-off and becoming a fabless designer of chips. AMD's current product stack has made waves in the market by taking advantage of 7 nm's benefits, but it seems this may actually become a slight problem in the not so distant future.

TSMC has announced a threefold increase in its delivery lead times for 7 nm orders, from two months to nearly six months, which means that orders will now have to wait three times longer to be fulfilled than they once did. This means that current channel supplies and orders made after the decision from TSMC will take longer to materialize in actual silicon, which may lead to availability slumps should demand increase or maintain. AMD has its entire modern product stack built under the 7 nm process, so this could potentially affect both CPUs and GPUs from the company - and let's not forget AMD's Zen 3 and next-gen RDNA GPUs which are all being designed for the 7 nm+ process node. TSMC is expected to set aside further budget to expand capacity of its most advanced nodes, whilst accelerating investment on their N7+, N6, N5, and N3 nodes.
Source: DigiTimes
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41 Comments on TSMC Trembles Under 7 nm Product Orders, Increases Delivery Lead Times Threefold - Could Hit AMD Product Availability

#1
fynxer
That is why AMD is getting all cosy with Samsung. They probably already knew this long time ago and made plans to minimize the impact.

Samsung will use RDNA in their mobile cpu's and AMD will get priority to use their factory's. It's a win, win, win and win for all except for those not involved.
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#2
Tomorrow
Looking at absymal 3900X availability im not suprised. Good luck getting 3950X this year. That in on itself would be like winning a lottery, but be prepared for inflated prices and weeks of wait time before delivery.
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#3
notb
fynxer, post: 4118070, member: 103789"
That is why AMD is getting all cosy with Samsung. They probably already knew this long time ago and made plans to minimize the impact.
Everyone should knew this long time ago. Even some on this forum have been saying this will happen.
7nm supply is scarce and AMD is not the highest bidder.
Samsung will use RDNA in their mobile cpu's and AMD will get priority to use their factory's. It's a win, win, win and win for all except for those not involved.
It's a different process and they'd have to redesign their chips.
Also, it seems you don't understand the Samsung-AMD deal very much. AMD is selling RDNA to Samsung. And they need the money. There's no reason why Samsung would "give" them something in return (other than the license fee, obviously).

As for Samsung 7nm: we know other big players are interested (most importantly: Nvidia), so if AMD hasn't contracted anything earlier, it might be too late.
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#4
phanbuey
Tomorrow, post: 4118090, member: 136792"
Looking at absymal 3900X availability im not suprised. Good luck getting 3950X this year. That in on itself would be like winning a lottery, but be prepared for inflated prices and weeks of wait time before delivery.
What is interesting is the absolute SEA of 3600 and 3600x's so I think they just underestimated demand on it.
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#5
Tomorrow
phanbuey, post: 4118119, member: 45008"
What is interesting is the absolute SEA of 3600 and 3600x's so I think they just underestimated demand on it.
True but i think 3900X has much better binned chiplets and that is why it's so scarce. Either that or they have some sort of manufacturing limit on how many CPU's they can make with dual chiplets but i doubt that.
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#6
xkm1948
EPYC definitely has 1st priority. Hmm i guess i probably won’t get to switch to Threadripper Gen 3 until next year.
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#7
Tomgang
No no noooooooooooooooo, this is the last thing i need to read after comming home tired from work :banghead:

So much for an 2019 upgrade to ryzen 9 3950X. Guess i will have to ask my old X58 system to hold out longer yet again.
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#8
kapone32
I am wondering if AMD has used most of the 7nm wafers that have already been produced by TSMC. After all we have 6, 7nm CPUs for AM4 and now there are AIB GPUs based on Navi. The 3950X is just about ready, for me there is also the thought process that TR3 is almost ready for release and may have chewed up what was left as core counts could be as high as 24 for the lowest TR3 CPU.
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#9
TheLostSwede
Keep in mind that companies that AMD, Nvidia and so on, usually have wafer supply contacts in place, which means that the fab has already agreed to a certain amount of wafers per month. The change is likely to only affect new orders, so no need for panic.
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#10
juiseman
Or, maybe they have started production on 3000's series refresh? Not a bad idea, keep the ball rolling, stay in the limelight keep the peoples interest
so that money keeps rolling in.....
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#11
Tomorrow
kapone32, post: 4118129, member: 181865"
I am wondering if AMD has used most of the 7nm wafers that have already been produced by TSMC. After all we have 6, 7nm CPUs for AM4 and now there are AIB GPUs based on Navi. The 3950X is just about ready, for me there is also the thought process that TR3 is almost ready for release and may have chewed up what was left as core counts could be as high as 24 for the lowest TR3 CPU.
TR3 starts at 16 cores.
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#12
Bones
Made reference myself earlier to the reason(s) why 3900 series chips are hard to come by.
This is going to impact the supply but not right away.

Contracts have already been made related to the suppy of chips for production and will have to be honored. Once said contracts expire it's all up in the air to negotiate what they would get and for how much per chip/chiplet.
Sad thing is out of the chips received not too many of the perfect ones needed for the 3900/3950X will go towards these, the majority will be destined for Epyc chip production since they require perfect chips to even be made into an Epyc chip.

AMD knows they'll have to make a few chips for the 3900/3950's since they are already in production or have been announced as part of the product lineup but..... How many?
Depends at least in part on the yields from the foundry in which they are made - AMD has no control over that and must make do with what they get based on production needs at the time when received.
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#13
kapone32
Tomorrow, post: 4118151, member: 136792"
TR3 starts at 16 cores.
Interesting indeed I wonder how much they will cost as the 3900X is over $700 in Canada already. I expect the 3950X to be $1000 but where will pricing start for TR3? At the very least it should further drop the price of the 2920X (the one I want) to perhaps the 1920X range now ($300-400) in Canada.
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#14
yakk
TheLostSwede, post: 4118137, member: 3382"
Keep in mind that companies that AMD, Nvidia and so on, usually have wafer supply contacts in place, which means that the fab has already agreed to a certain amount of wafers per month. The change is likely to only affect new orders, so no need for panic.
Indeed, this would otherwise have likely crashed AMD's, and other companies', stock prices. It would've been very serious to their bottom line. Sounds like TSMC is running at full capacity for 7nm.
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#15
64K
I wonder if yield issues are also a factor with the lower process 7nm node?
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#16
AleksandarK
64K, post: 4118177, member: 148270"
I wonder if yield issues are also a factor with the lower process 7nm node?
TSMC's first-generation 7nm is having great yield. Don't know about N7+ but I would expect that to be a slight tweak for better frequency, so no problems with yielding.

What might be the reason for the delay is the fact that there are a huge number of companies currently trying to utilize N7/N7+ node for their products and TSMC's pipeline is very very busy.
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#17
kings
Apple and Huawei occupy almost 90% of 7nm capacity. The rest only have the leftovers.

So, with AMD having a minimal volume at TSMC, it is perfectly possible that in the event of a shortage, they will suffer more and faster than large customers.
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#18
zo0lykas
your numbers make non sense, please dont post crap like this here, thank you

kings, post: 4118211, member: 180022"
Apple and Huawei occupy almost 90% of 7nm capacity. The rest only have the leftovers.

So, with AMD having a minimal volume at TSMC, it is perfectly possible that in the event of a shortage, they will suffer more and faster than large customers.
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#19
kings
What crap? It's not my fault you're not informed.

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#20
londiste
kings, post: 4118218, member: 180022"
What crap? It's not my fault you're not informed.


This is from a year ago, Summer 2018.
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#21
kings
Unless the landscape took a 180° turn (which hardly happened), Apple remains the largest customer by far, followed by Huawei (HiSilicon).

If there is a shortage problem, it is almost certain that TSMC will give more priority to Apple than any other. Especially at this point, with the new iPhones in full swing.
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#22
Hardware Geek
This could be a good thing for Samsung too. If they are far enough out, designers currently starting development of a new chip may decide to contract with Samsung and use their process instead if they have available capacity.
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#23
efikkan
Tomorrow, post: 4118090, member: 136792"
Looking at absymal 3900X availability im not suprised. Good luck getting 3950X this year.
Tomorrow, post: 4118121, member: 136792"
True but i think 3900X has much better binned chiplets and that is why it's so scarce.
Yes, 3900X and upcoming 3950X uses higher bins of chips, and the availability of these will be limited by the total production volume, which is why some models are in plenty of stock while others are not. There is little AMD can do with this in the short term. But we have to remember that the demand for 3900X/3950X is "artificially high" right now due to the Zen 2 hype, with many fans buying chips they don't "need", but this "problem" will sort itself out over time. But this short supply for higher models is what we expected, and will also be a challenge for Threadripper models.

kings, post: 4118211, member: 180022"
Apple and Huawei occupy almost 90% of 7nm capacity. The rest only have the leftovers.

So, with AMD having a minimal volume at TSMC, it is perfectly possible that in the event of a shortage, they will suffer more and faster than large customers.
While what you're saying in terms of production volume is true, your conclusion is incorrect.
Firstly, as some have mentioned, customers including AMD, Nvidia, etc. have wafer supply agreements. Secondly, high power chips like desktop CPUs and GPUs are not made on the same version of the node as IPhone chips, so it will be only companies like Nvidia and others who make large high power chips who will be "competing" for the same production capacity as AMD. So unless the specific production lines AMD use are directly impacted by production problems, AMD's production should be unaffected by 7nm demand in general, as this only affects new orders.

So this whole matter is another case of the media failing to understand the ramifications of production news.
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#24
Nkd
notb, post: 4118094, member: 165619"
Everyone should knew this long time ago. Even some on this forum have been saying this will happen.
7nm supply is scarce and AMD is not the highest bidder.

It's a different process and they'd have to redesign their chips.
Also, it seems you don't understand the Samsung-AMD deal very much. AMD is selling RDNA to Samsung. And they need the money. There's no reason why Samsung would "give" them something in return (other than the license fee, obviously).

As for Samsung 7nm: we know other big players are interested (most importantly: Nvidia), so if AMD hasn't contracted anything earlier, it might be too late.
You are assuming a mountain here. Its not to hard to get a fab contract. and AMD is not going to tell us how long they have been working with samsung. You will know it when it happens. So to assume Nvidia is going to be the only player with samsung is nonsense. Samsung wants more business and AMD will be right there.

Second assumption: Amd is not the highest bidder? what does that have to do with anything? You don't have to be the highest bidder to get product out. AMD has been in bed with TSMC in 7nm and the only company making the bigger chips. You really think all those EPYC chips are not going to be at play? How do you know its not the demand from AMD at play here as well? From what I can tell zen 2 and navi seems to be selling out as soon as they hit shelves.
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#25
notb
Nkd, post: 4118314, member: 42675"
You are assuming a mountain here. Its not to hard to get a fab contract
No? Get one. :)
AMD is not going to tell us how long they have been working with samsung.
Of course. But given how AMD normally does their business, that would be very surprising.
They're building the company value ("the hype") on this kind of partnerships.
During every Ryzen launch AMD shows a long litany of OEM representatives praising the new product and saying they'll be happy to use it in their PCs. And it happens months later. Or never.
So to assume Nvidia is going to be the only player with samsung is nonsense. Samsung wants more business and AMD will be right there.
By all means: Nvidia will not be the only Samsung fab client. Intel is there as well. And so could be AMD.
But other that that it's the same story as with TSMC: AMD sells cheaper products and they can pay less for a wafer.

Well... there's one big difference. Samsung, unlike TSMC, also makes chips. They are the largest client of their in-house semiconductor manufacturing business.
And the leftover capacity is nothing compared to TSMC potential. In other words: AMD needs TSMC.
You don't have to be the highest bidder to get product out.
Of course you do.
Why would TSMC conciously sell to a client who pays less than others?
It makes no sense and it's actually illegal. You can go to jail for that.
AMD has been in bed with TSMC in 7nm and the only company making the bigger chips.
AMD fans like to state how TSMC and AMD are in great partnership. They aren't. TSMC is selling something. AMD is buying. That's it.
If anything, AMD had MUCH tighter connection with GF. During Ryzen 1000 launch AMD fans praised that. GF is great, innovative. AMD is great, fabless, innovative. Intel has supply problems because they aren't fabless. BLA BLA BLA
2 years forward no one remembers what GF is.
Now AMD is the company troubled with supply issues, because they're 100% dependent on a single supplier that - unlike in the GF era - they can't control or at least get a high priority.
You really think all those EPYC chips are not going to be at play?
All which EPYC chips? AMD has 3-4% of datacenter market share.
And companies buy servers for 3+ years - not replace them every generation like a lot of people on this forum. :-)
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