20nm GPUs unlikely in 2014 due to TSMC issues

By on April 22, 2014, 9:30 AM
amd, nvidia, gpu, graphics card, tsmc, maxwell, 20nm, 2014

It's looking increasingly unlikely that either AMD or Nvidia will be able to release a new graphics card this year with a die manufactured using a 20nm process. Issues are aplenty at TSMC, the foundry that produces both AMD and Nvidia GPUs, with the company struggling to meet production demands and repeatedly delaying their final 20nm technology.

Nvidia were originally hoping to release high-end 'Maxwell'-based cards manufactured on a 20nm process this year, but TSMC hasn't been able to meet their end of the bargain. It appears Nvidia has had to re-engineer their GM204 and GM206 Maxwell GPUs for the existing 28nm process, so we may not see these products until December 2014.

Previous rumors surrounding the first GM104-based product, the GeForce GTX 880, suggested there would be 7.9 billion transistors on the GPU die and 3,200 CUDA cores, but having to revert to 28nm may change all of this.

Meanwhile over at AMD, senior vice president Lisa Su has stated that the company will continue to use the 28nm process for the remainder of 2014, before moving to 20nm and FinFET sometime down the track. This will likely mean that Pirate Islands, the successor to AMD's current products, will feature 28nm GPUs.

Intel, on the other hand, aren't struggling with their manufacturing technology as it's all done in-house. Current 'Haswell' CPUs are produced on a 22nm process, and there have been few issues progressing to 14nm for the upcoming launch of 'Broadwell'.

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