AMD may not have its own foundry, exactly, but it did essentially found Globalfoundries. Thus, it has some control over when and how its process technologies advance. Over the next 2 quarters, the 14nm FinFET and 20nm planar process technologies should tape out.
Currently, Advanced Micro Devices makes its latest graphics processing units (GPUs), central processing units (CPUs) and accelerated processing units (APUs) on the 28nm, manufacturing process technology.
Sadly, AMD did not mention much more than that. Not the products that would be designed on the technologies, not the exact times of arrival, nothing.
Not surprising really. After all, even if the first sampling stages are to commence in the fourth quarter of 2013 or the first of 2014, market availability will take quite a few more months to arrive.
Thus, even if some 20nm chips are introduced next year, AMD's 2014 products will still be made using 28nm and 32nm SOI process technologies.
“We are typically at the leading edge across the technology nodes. We are fully top-top-bottom in 28nm now across all of our products, and we are transitioning to both 20nm and to FinFETs over the next couple of quarters in terms of designs,” said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
“So we will continue to do that across our foundry partners. […] We will do 20nm first and then we will go to FinFETs.”
In addition to a new generation of CPUs/APUs/GPUs, AMD will probably use the 14nm-XM FinFET process from Globalfoundries to make low-power products. Maybe it will increase its presence on the laptop front, and perhaps power some tablets too at some point.
Given the slow decline of the PC industry, the Sunnyvale company doesn't really have much of a choice.