AMD Scraps 20nm Process Tech to Focus on FinFET
AMD has at last formally confirmed that its 20nm SoC adventure is over. It wouldn’t produce any of its chips using the 20nm process technology at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Instead the company plans to set its sights on the new FinFET tech, as a result of which it won back $33 million in charge.
AMD announced its plans to work more with ARM on its two new system-on-chips processors back in 2014. Code-named “Amur” (featuring ARMv8-A cores) and “Nolan” (featuring Puma+ x86 cores), the SoCs were were proposed to integrate the same graphics core, the same memory controller and I/O interfaces. The firm wanted to design these SoCs primarily for tablets and low-cost/low-power laptops.
Chief executive of AMD, however, indicated earlier this year that the chips would not be manufactured as they hope that switching to FinFET production will be more profitable for the company.
“In the past I talked about 20nm node that we did some designs on,” said Lisa Su, CEO AMD at the company’s financial analyst day. “We have started some initial designs, we have run some silicon, but those parts are probably not going to go into production because we think we can get much more bang for the buck out of FinFET technologies going forward.”
AMD has already started taping out prototypes for the new chips using GlobalFoundries’ 14nm FinFET manufacturing technology although it did not reveal when it plans to roll out the first chips.
However, with the cancellation of “Amur” and “Nolan”, one thing that is known for now is that AMD will have nothing new to offer for tablets based on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 in the coming months.