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DigiTimes - AMD to go 55nm in early 2008?

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March 29, 2007 4:36:40 PM

The well-respected Digitimes site is reporting that AMD is doing pilot runs with 55nm process at TSMC. It is also reported that nVidia is ready to release 55nm GPUs in the second half of 2007.

This may be a part of the reason that AMD is going to the 65nm process with R600. I remember saying that GPUs may get to 45nm before CPUs. This isn't quite 45nm but TSMC also recently stated a desire to do 45nm AMD chips in 2008.

This may or may not be for CPUs from this news. GPUs do need to get small quick to back off of this 300W road.

Linkage!
March 29, 2007 5:27:14 PM

I've always found it odd the way that these process shrinks work.... my understanding is that the "steps" that are chosen for CPU designs (130, 90, 65, 45) result in a doubling of density at each node. We've seen GPUs go down an incomplete step though, like the 80nm ATI chips. Is there any technical reason why CPUs have never switched to one of these half node steps in the past?
March 29, 2007 5:57:26 PM

AMD is not playing games as many people think they are. They are actualy a company dedicated to the future of technology and money. There will be marginal competition between AMD and Intel chips for a long while.

I love this statement
In a statement distributed to the press, corporate vice president Randy Allen said: "In mid-year, AMD will launch its native quad-core processor with an enhanced architecture, code-named "Barcelona." Our competitor's announcement today is further validation that their current architecture will not be competitive with Barcelona until they make this transition that we showed the industry in 2003 with Direct Connect Architecture.”
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March 29, 2007 6:30:11 PM

Quote:
I've always found it odd the way that these process shrinks work.... my understanding is that the "steps" that are chosen for CPU designs (130, 90, 65, 45) result in a doubling of density at each node. We've seen GPUs go down an incomplete step though, like the 80nm ATI chips. Is there any technical reason why CPUs have never switched to one of these half node steps in the past?



I noticed that too and it's hard to say. My best guess would be that AMD has a superior process tech than TSMC/UMC. That maybe why TSMC has been talking about fabbing 45nm for AMD. Again though it's not clear if they are talking about CPUs. R700 may be the chip they want to do at 45nm.
March 29, 2007 6:36:16 PM

GPUs were also at 130nm...
... But they went (and will go) -> 110nm -> 90nm -> 80nm -> 65nm -> 55nm -> 45nm -> 40nm maybe?
However, GPU manufacturing always has 1 more generation between 2 consecutive structures used in CPU manufacturing.
Maybe because theres not as much money in the GPU business, who knows.
March 29, 2007 6:53:54 PM

yes, but intel is going 45, at roughly the same time - and that will will AMD, i like AMD i wish they would ditch athlon get something new, stop changing socket type every week (socket LGA F is not far off) and then maybe ill go back to the AMD camp, but now im firmly with intel - the C2D is truely impressive
March 29, 2007 7:46:59 PM

man, this means more socket types probably, whatever happened to the days where you could build a pc and be happy knowing you could put a worthy upgrade into it later without having to get a new motherboard... eg socket 478 P4 1.4ghz-3.4 ghz, now thats a stretch
March 29, 2007 8:08:19 PM

Quote:
man, this means more socket types probably, whatever happened to the days where you could build a pc and be happy knowing you could put a worthy upgrade into it later without having to get a new motherboard... eg socket 478 P4 1.4ghz-3.4 ghz, now thats a stretch


AMD is not changing sockets. How did you come to that conclusion? This was a post about 55nm not sockets.
March 29, 2007 8:11:19 PM

Quote:
yes, but intel is going 45, at roughly the same time - and that will will AMD, i like AMD i wish they would ditch athlon get something new, stop changing socket type every week (socket LGA F is not far off) and then maybe ill go back to the AMD camp, but now im firmly with intel - the C2D is truely impressive


How is this discussion turning to sockets? It's AMD and nVidia and 55nm /45nm. It will be interesting if nVidia ships 45nm first.
March 29, 2007 8:33:18 PM

Quote:
This may or may not be for CPUs from this news. GPUs do need to get small quick to back off of this 300W road.


Probably not CPUs. As I recall, K8 / K10 are designed for SOI and power consumption would be out of control on bulk silicon.
March 29, 2007 8:33:19 PM

errr...ummmmmmm....guys,Baron was talking about gpus.....they relate to the cpu not at all
March 29, 2007 8:46:10 PM

Your title would have one think that Digitimes suggested AMD is going 55nm in 2008. I see nothing of the sort..
Quote:
The well-respected Digitimes site is reporting that AMD is doing pilot runs with 55nm process at TSMC.

Quote:
Nvidia to be the first TSMC customer to run 55nm designs

With Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announcing its readiness to begin production on 55nm process, sources at Taiwan motherboard makers noted that Nvidia is very likely to be the first customer to introduce production on this half node geometry.

Given its long established ties with TSMC, Nvidia started pilot runs on 55nm in early 2007 and samples should be available for customers in the second half of 2007, the sources detailed. The graphics chip maker should introduce 55nm in volume production in the first quarter of 2008, the sources added. A Chinese-language Commercial Times report also cited sources at equipment makers as saying that AMD has also started pilot runs on 55nm. Chips fabricated on 55nm are to hit the market in early 2008.

Industry players commented that 55nm process will mainly apply to price-sensitive applications such as handset and graphics chips as most field-programmable gate array (FPGA) suppliers are already preparing to leap directly to 45nm.


Yeah.. wtf?
March 29, 2007 8:50:48 PM

I would also like to know why gpus use those intermediate steps (110, 80, 55nm). Theres gotta be a simple reason for it.
March 29, 2007 9:10:10 PM

i completely agree AMD socket should last longer, intel has done well with PGA 478 and LGA 775 - why cant AMD keep a socket for a couple of Year, the performance increase is minimal.

AND Intels next core for core2duo, is 45nm, so it has everything to do with it
March 29, 2007 9:14:42 PM

Quote:
Your title would have one think that Digitimes suggested AMD is going 55nm in 2008. I see nothing of the sort..
The well-respected Digitimes site is reporting that AMD is doing pilot runs with 55nm process at TSMC.

Quote:
Nvidia to be the first TSMC customer to run 55nm designs

With Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announcing its readiness to begin production on 55nm process, sources at Taiwan motherboard makers noted that Nvidia is very likely to be the first customer to introduce production on this half node geometry.

Given its long established ties with TSMC, Nvidia started pilot runs on 55nm in early 2007 and samples should be available for customers in the second half of 2007, the sources detailed. The graphics chip maker should introduce 55nm in volume production in the first quarter of 2008, the sources added. A Chinese-language Commercial Times report also cited sources at equipment makers as saying that AMD has also started pilot runs on 55nm. Chips fabricated on 55nm are to hit the market in early 2008.

Industry players commented that 55nm process will mainly apply to price-sensitive applications such as handset and graphics chips as most field-programmable gate array (FPGA) suppliers are already preparing to leap directly to 45nm.


Yeah.. wtf?
Actually:
Quote:
A Chinese-language Commercial Times report also cited sources at equipment makers as saying that AMD has also started pilot runs on 55nm.

He's right.
March 29, 2007 9:32:24 PM

Quote:
This may or may not be for CPUs from this news. GPUs do need to get small quick to back off of this 300W road.


Probably not CPUs. As I recall, K8 / K10 are designed for SOI and power consumption would be out of control on bulk silicon.

TSMC does use SOI for GPUs IIRC.

Wow, now that's a cool sentence or maybe I just stay on here too much.
:oops: 
March 29, 2007 9:35:44 PM

Quote:
i completely agree AMD socket should last longer, intel has done well with PGA 478 and LGA 775 - why cant AMD keep a socket for a couple of Year, the performance increase is minimal.

AND Intels next core for core2duo, is 45nm, so it has everything to do with it



They did. 939 has been around for 3 years almost. AM2 will last two years and 1207 is compatible with 1207+. The first 45nm server chips will supposedly be supported by 1207+ also.

The best thing about AMD in those terms is the chipset. one chipset fits all.
March 29, 2007 9:42:00 PM

Yeah, like someone else said earlier, GPU's usually have different processes. So 55nm sounds both plausible and likely to me (but only for GPU's)

Doesnt's TSMC make nVidia chips too?
March 29, 2007 9:51:54 PM

Quote:
Yeah, like someone else said earlier, GPU's usually have different processes. So 55nm sounds both plausible and likely to me (but only for GPU's)

Doesnt's TSMC make nVidia chips too?


Yeah, the article stated that nVidia is ready to release 45nm in the 2nd half and there was story recently about TSMC wanting to do 45nm for AMD. Since AMD stated they may not go to immersion yet, it could either be for CPUs or GPUs. The GPUs need it more though.
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