A new report from Taiwan suggests that AMD and Intel are battling for production capacity at TSMC. This news might be behind the ceasing of trading of TSMC shares on Taiwan's stock market earlier today, due to caps on daily price movements. The company is up 10 per cent in the most recent trading session which flat-lined about mid-day Taiwan time, after intervention.
CNBC notes that the TSMC rally is due in part to Intel's financial statements last week, where it said it would be delaying its 7nm chips. Furthermore, Intel indicated it might hire other foundries to make advanced 7nm processors. However, the potentially bigger news, for TSMC at least, comes today via Taiwan's China News which asserts that Intel is indeed in talks with TSMC and is anxious to grab production capacity.
Insiders talking to the Taiwanese newspaper have indicated the following:
- Intel has reached an agreement with TSMC
- TSMC will begin mass production of Intel CPUs and/or GPUs next year
- Intel chips will be fabricated on TSMC's 7nm optimised version of its 6nm process. (I'm not sure if that means TSMC N7P, N7+, or N6.)
Intel can be thankful for the TSMC capacity made available by the Huawei / HiSilicon orders being cancelled or it would be in an even worse position.
Meanwhile, AMD will press ahead to try and take advantage of its chief opponent's misfortunes / missteps. AMD hopes to capture market share in desktops, laptops, and servers and its Zen 3 CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs will be instrumental in this aim going into the new year. AMD's next gen parts will be made on TSMC's N7/N7+ processes, and it is expected to be TSMC's biggest 7nm customer in 2021. This is all the more impressive because TSMC's 7nm capacity for 2021 will be double what it was this year.
You can read the Chinese language China Times article in English using Google Translate, or check out Twitter's Retired Engineer version here. Please note a couple of things: AMD is sometimes mistranslated as Supermicro, as it uses the same Chinese characters for some reason; and it is recommended you take the industry sourced news with a pinch of salt.
Intel does the GPU hokey cokey
The official Intel Graphics Twitter account teased followers with more Xe graphics news and then apparently changed its mind. The Tweet below was shared on Saturday.
VideoCardz has thankfully captured the Tweet for posterity. You can see, above, it said that we would learn more about Xe GPUs in 20 days time, which would have been 14th August. We can only guess about the reason for the Tweet removal, perhaps it is something as simple as it indicating the wrong date. The next officially scheduled Intel launch will be that of Tiger Lake mobile processors on 2nd September.