Zen 3-based Ryzen 4000 desktop chips reportedly built on TSMC's 5nm process

midian182

Posts: 5,759   +46
Staff member

The claim is from DigiTimes (via Tom’s Hardware), which does have a slightly hit-and-miss record when it comes to these things. It states that TSMC is expected to start volume production of an enhanced version of its 5nm finFET process (5nm Plus) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and that the new Ryzen 4000 chips will be based on this node.

We heard back in December that TSMC was to start production on 5nm sometime during the second half of the year, so that checks out. Apple is releasing its iPhone 12 lineup this fall, which are powered by the 5m-based A14 Bionic SoC. As such, Cupertino is reported to have reserved two-thirds of TSMC’s 5nm capacity.

Huawei also had TSMC’s 5nm capacity booked, but the renewed tensions between the US and China have reportedly brought an end to that deal. The manufacturer could be looking elsewhere to fill Huawei’s slots, though the chances of AMD securing the process for Zen 3 appear slim. It's worth noting that another rumor claims Nvidia is preparing a mystery 5nm product.

March saw AMD release its CPU roadmaps that showed Zen 3—the fourth generation of Ryzen chips—built on the 7nm process. The Zen 4-based Epyc Genoa processors, available by the end of 2022, are based on 5nm, and the consumer version of these CPUs are also expected to be 5nm.

“I think 5nm is an important node, and one that we will use quite heavily in our roadmap. I'm not ready to talk about timing yet, but I will say that Zen 4 is deep in design, and we are very collaborative with TSMC,” said AMD CEO Lisa Su. “The way to think about it is, the process nodes usually start with mobile, and mobile is usually a simpler process from the standpoint of the performance it is trying to get. [...] 5nm will be important for Zen 4, as well as our GPU roadmap, will be using 5nm, but we'll talk about timing as we get a little bit closer.”

With AMD publicly stating that the Ryzen 4000 desktop series will be based on 7nm, it’s extremely unlikely that it would, or even could, change its mind so close to launch.

In other AMD news this week, it’s rumored that Ryzen 3000XT CPUs with higher clock speeds are on their way, while long-time Intel users Linus Torvalds has abandoned Chipzilla’s processors after 15 years in favor of a Threadripper 3970x.

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,869   +2,193
WCCF has already disproved this by snagging a picture of AMD's slides showing that the ryzen 5000s will be 7nm; and that 5nm has different design parameters so you cant just port from one to another, so there is no way that AMD is switching to the 5nm node so suddenly.
 

meric

Posts: 249   +187
Although there are news about some products based on 5nm will enter mass production in the near future, I doubt AMD would take the risk of early yields that would raise the costs. 7nm process is mature now so I guess it's not likely the zen 3 will be based on 5nm.
 

MaestroIT

Posts: 8   +4
No, AMD can't do it, what will people think of Intel stuck since 2014 on 14 nm, while AMD improves to lower and better nm every 2 years?
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 1,827   +1,055
I doubt this rumor is true.

If they were indeed going 5nm you will see it server side before the desktop chips, that is where the bulk of the money is not in the consumer market.
 
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Hardware Geek

Posts: 230   +218
AMD isn't going to push back the launch of its next processor when it is trying to compete with Intel and the upcoming rocket lake processors.
 

Irata

Posts: 569   +735
TechSpot Elite
I‘d say something is coming on 5nm+ from AMD early next year but I don‘t think it will be desktop Ryzen 3. They don‘t really need it. But the production capacity planned for Huawei will be available in a few months unless things change on the world stage.

If otoh they could push a mobile part forward and use that as a pipe cleaner for Zen 4, that would be good. Increased efficiency matters a lot more for mobile.

Either way, fun rumor and we‘ll see soon enough what happens.

 

mosu

Posts: 533   +152
With a huge cash pile in hand, Apple should build its own fab and leave the scene for others to evolve. I'm also expecting that a huge part of TSMCs orders to come from Intel, at least for a few years from now.
 

neeyik

Posts: 996   +959
Staff member
With a huge cash pile in hand, Apple should build its own fab and leave the scene for others to evolve.
They used to, but sold them off into a separate firm: Global Foundaries. Having your own fabs is all well and good, but they are massively expensive to build and maintain. AMD just don't have enough product lines going out to warrant owning fabs any more, whereas the likes of Samsung and Intel do.
 

mosu

Posts: 533   +152
They used to, but sold them off into a separate firm: Global Foundaries. Having your own fabs is all well and good, but they are massively expensive to build and maintain. AMD just don't have enough product lines going out to warrant owning fabs any more, whereas the likes of Samsung and Intel do.
It was not about AMD, it was about Apple, but I understand that AMD was the bad example. I am sure that you are aware that TSMC is mainly a state-owned company and they had the support that Global Foundries lacked. My problem is with Apple, every firm they work with had troubles because of them abandoning orders or imposing unsustainable prices.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 996   +959
Staff member
It was not about AMD, it was about Apple, but I understand that AMD was the bad example. I am sure that you are aware that TSMC is mainly a state-owned company and they had the support that Global Foundries lacked. My problem is with Apple, every firm they work with had troubles because of them abandoning orders or imposing unsustainable prices.
Oops! My apologies - my brain read AMD, rather than Apple. The same reasoning applies to them, though: they just don't design enough chip variations to warrant a multi-billion dollar fabrication plant. TSMC, on the other hand, have their N7 order books jammed full.
 
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seeprime

Posts: 460   +495
It seems likely that some Zen3 chips will be tested on 5nm. I doubt they'll move a proven 7nm produced part to the next gen without substantial testing of stability and performance.
 

meric

Posts: 249   +187
Perhaps they'll produce the same architecture on 5nm process and call it zen3+? And then zen 4 with with 5nm+? Either way, if AMD doesn't keep holding the process advantage they can't be as competitive as they are now. Because intel is not sitting still, they will make architectural improvements and fix their process issues sooner or later.