The transition to 28nm is near, not just with GPUs, but also other parts of the semiconductor industry. Qualcomm has said that it will ship ARM SoC designs at 28nm this year. Both AMD and NVIDIA are working on their first 28nm GPUs and AMD says that it will be first to market.
AMD has historically been faster with adapting new manufacturing technologies since the 90nm node and it intends to be first with 28nm. The new node will be available at TSMC, GlobalFoundries and Samsung, but AMD is only interested in the first two.
The race is on as AMD and NVIDIA have been stuck at 40nm for over two years and they eagerly await the transition to 28nm that sports twice as high transistor density. AMD says it has working chips and expects to ship the first 28nm GPUs later this year, whiel NVIDIA will take until 2012.
We still don’t know the exact date when the first 28nm graphics cards arrive, but according to AMD it will be sooner than expected and it expects to first. Earlier rumors have pointed to a launch near the end of Q3, which means September but it could very well be moved into Q4.
”We have working silicon in-house and remain on-track to deliver the first members of what we expect will be another industry-leading GPU family to market later this year. We expect to be at the forefront of the GPU industry’s transition to 28nm.
At the 28nm node, all of our products will be based on bulk process technology, providing increased flexibility to work across our two committed and valued partner. [GlobalFoundries och TSMC], our flexibility to manage risk across the foundry partner ecosystem that we have has significantly increased,” Thomas Seifert, tillfällig VD hos AMD
”There is the 28nm product coming. That is a great opportunity to grab share again, just like we did with the industry with the DirectX 11; you saw what that did to our revenue. There is another opportunity coming up again here shortly,” Rick Bergman produktansvarig, AMD
Rick Bergman talks about an advantage with 28nm and compares this to the advantage it had when it was the only one with DirectX 11. DirectX 11 sounds good in the ears of the consumers, but so far we have a hard time seeing how 28nm will give AMD a similar advantage, if it is simply not talking about a new price/performance winner before NVIDIA has a counter move.
It has been said that AMD will split the manufacturing between GlobalFoundries and TSMC, where one will make high-end circuits with AMD’s new GPU architecture using a new Compute Unit, while the other will make circuits based on the VLIW-4 architecture used in Cayman (HD 6900), but all GPUs will be part of the Southern Islands family and a new series that will most likely be named HD 7000.