According to a new report from a Japanese news source, Nvidia will manufacture its 2020 GPUs using Samsung’s 7nm EUV process. Late last month we also learned that IBM intends to build its 7nm Power processors on the same Samsung process.
Last October, Samsung announced that it started risk production of 7nm EUV chips. The risk production seems to be ahead of schedule as it was initially scheduled to start early 2019.
Nvidia is currently using TSMC’s 12nm process for its latest GPU cards. In a previous report by DigiTimes, Nvidia was rumored to use TSMC’s non-EUV 7nm process for its cards in 2019, but that may no longer be the case if Nvidia plans to use Samsung’s 7nm EUV process in 2020.
It’s possible Nvidia could use TSMC’s 7nm process in 2019 for some of its products and Samsung’s 7nm EUV for others in 2020, but that may not make too much practical sense, as it would make its product line-up complicated to design.
Nvidia may also feel that its position won’t be threatened that much if it sticks to 12nm in 2019. AMD's Navi GPU architecture is rumored to launch on TSMC’s 7nm process in 2019, but only the mid-range GPU cards are planned for this year. If AMD doesn’t have a 7nm high-end GPU planned for this year, then Nvidia has little reason to switch from the 12nm process at the high-end competition-wise.
Samsung was the first company to bet on the EUV lithography process, and it looks like it will also be the one to reap the most benefits early on, as competitors, such as TSMC and Intel, delay their switch to EUV.