What is AMD going to do with $1.6 billion in wafer orders from GlobalFoundries?

1 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:13 ID: nccctn

According to the latest Wafer Supply Agreement, AMD is obligated to buy $1.6 billion in wafer by 2024.

What is AMD going to use those orders for?

As AnandTech remark: "Still, it’s somewhat difficult to imagine AMD needing over a billion dollars in last-gen logic and I/O dies going into the next three years."

2 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:44 ID: gy49imz

They can fab zen+ products and sell them at low or no margins to developing places. Athlons, 4 core desktop chips, entry level gpu, education devices. Many poor countries are struggling for basic computers. The worst it can get is 0 profits, it ain't gonna lose them money

ID: gy4ihob

Also RX 590s GPUs, 3200g, 3400g APUs for cheap builds. Those are all 12nm.

If they buy Xilinx, they can fab FPGAs as well.

Looks like Xilinx currently offers products down to 16nm

Even if they have abandoned 7nm, GloFo is still improving it's 12nm process

ID: gy4z70l

Most plausible theory…

ID: gy5e1j9

20% power increase or 40% power savings at same perf, as well as 15% density is no joke. They can put out some great products with that for cheap.

ID: gy53zgn

Considering that the rx 580 is going for 650$ on Amazon yeah i think it would be great if they make more of those

ID: gy5dku7

...and would you want to be buying that in 2024?

That's when the WSA ends

ID: gy4q8vt

A 3400G isn't slow. It's faster than what most people have at home currently, like some amd fx computers or sandybridge i3s and celerons. They are perfectly fine for most people. I can see AMD selling the picasso apus for another few years and then switch over to van gogh in the low end once everyone moved of 7nm.

ID: gy4m52w

Just having the processor is pointless.

You need manufacturers to actually MAKE these low margin low spec laptops. then those OEM's need to have a supply chain into these developing countries.

It's far easier for OEM's to dump laptops that don't sell in developing countries rather than custom making laptops for the developing world, unless it's being paid for by some big charity or something.

ID: gy4mvr4

You need manufacturers to actually MAKE these low margin low spec laptops

Why'd it have to be laptops? Desktops are good too

It's far easier for OEM's to dump laptops that don't sell in developing countries

Welcome to 2 cores athlon chromebooks. Those are manufactured specially for developing countries and budget education use

ID: gy4mrw3

low spec laptops

why laptops?

ID: gy4ft1e

Even that, you have to wonder how many PCs those countries can afford.

Just having the processors alone is useless.

ID: gy4iw4t

IDK, but I'm from Argentina an we recently are having a shortage on low en CPUs, and the GPU market it's making it worst for APUs. We barely have any, APUs are barely die here, there practically no athlons and building a cheap computer with this GPU prices and no processors with integrated is becoming impossible. Also Intels with iGPUs are becoming slowly expensive.

ID: gy4hf9c

No clue but minimum specs pc probably ain't that costly. People around here feel that pc are costly only because enthusiasts'd pay $150 for a keyboard when it can be bought for <$5. A system can cost as little as $100-$150. 30hz monitors, dollar kb and mouse, super budget boards, cpu at cost price and stuff

Wasn't it rumored that m1 costs $40-$50 per chip? And it's at 200+mm2, can't see the cost of zen+ or athlon chips to be higher

ID: gy55769

Also, establishing themselves in such places is a good idea from a business standpoint.

3 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:25 ID: gy46rgr

There are a lot of use-cases where Zen+ (which I think should still be what GloFo can make with 12nm) is still going to be perfectly acceptable. I'd bet they could crank out Ryzen 1600s for another couple years and still have them sell through.

I imagine the reason why AMD wouldn't want to do this is for marketing purposes. Maybe they could resurrect the Sempron and Duron names so they don't have an actual Ryzen 1600 dragging down the brand.

ID: gy4rrmy

1600af is killer value. I have one for web/mobile dev and android VMs. 3200mh mem.

60fps on cp2077. I'm waiting for alder lake to get released so I can migrate my 3900x to the AF machine and get a cheaper 5900x for myself

ID: gy52tcs

My R5 1600 is still performing well, same for the rest of the parts I got in 2017

Upgraded to a 3060 ti, running games cranked at 1440p has been fine


CP 2077 everything on max (motion blur off) with quality DLSS I'm usually in the high 40's in the city

No reason to upgrade till DDR5 cp

are in

4 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:33 ID: gy47w18

io die, cheap APUs and maybe some low end GPUs

5 : Anonymous2021/05/14 17:05 ID: gy4cele

AMD will still be selling Epyc 3 cpu's over the next few years. Server cpu's take a lot longer to "digest" and definitely hasn't hit peak level yet. that's just 1 usecase out of many others

6 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:26 ID: gy46xm2

I imagine we'll see cheap APUs under the Athlon name, and they'll keep Epyc/Threadripper on the Zen3 design for a while longer. Server applications won't be incorporating DDR5 for a while so there's no reason to update their professional products to Zen4. The GloFo 12nm IOD can handle 3200MHz memory, so there's no real reason to not keep using it. The power draw is unfortunate, but Intel don't have any competition so they're not being pressed to move onto advanced nodes.

7 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:29 ID: gy47dxb

Maybe the Ryzen Pros can use old 12nm I/O dies. Companies buying those probably aren't all going to plug in a bunch of PCIe4 NVMe in RAID on it, so the chipset shouldn't be pegged very hard.

If you have a big compute workload, you'd buy a big workstation.

8 : Anonymous2021/05/14 17:43 ID: gy4ho8b

My guess is APUs and maybe even a refresh of the RX580.

9 : Anonymous2021/05/14 18:34 ID: gy4oth5

Ryzen Pro processors have guaranteed availability for at least two years. I suspect EPYC CPUs are similar, if not longer. Plus, the low-end GPUs as well.

10 : Anonymous2021/05/14 20:13 ID: gy526g2

Moar RX580s

11 : Anonymous2021/05/14 20:36 ID: gy55750

Be real nice if they could make a bunch of R580s

12 : Anonymous2021/05/14 18:25 ID: gy4nl2m

Xilinx products.

13 : Anonymous2021/05/14 18:51 ID: gy4r5t9

I wonder, if they could be coming up with something new. FPGAs surely could be manufactured on 12nm, and their existing contracts will require some wafers too, but surely, even all combined, it's not to that extent. Perhaps they will dip their toes in some proprietary memory, HBM was partly AMD's creation after all, or perhaps RDNA3 will use a 12nm active interposer.

14 : Anonymous2021/05/14 20:37 ID: gy55cx3

I think you guys are reading too much into it.

According to Anandtech, the filing says that AMD expects to buy $1.6bn in wafers, not that it is obligated to buy $1.6bn. The actual obligation appears to be undisclosed.

15 : Anonymous2021/05/14 16:59 ID: gy4blat

make RX 570 - 580 for a cheap price

ID: gy4c65p

Funny, the cheap part

ID: gy4hzwz

It'll be an RX580 refresh but at a higher msrp than the RX480 was back in 2016.

ID: gy4r05h

If they use GloFo's optimized 12nm at least they can be a bit faster.

As for price, don't forget inflation. Even if you take out the most recent figures as an outlier (4.2%), US inflation averaged above 2% yearly for the last 5 years, which compounds to a bit above 10%. That means even in a normal market you could expect a re-release of an old card to be at a higher price than the original MSRP.

Of course, current market means a re-release of the 580 could probably go for $300, but I wouldn't be mad if it was at $250 since that's below the original MSRP + inflation.

16 : Anonymous2021/05/14 17:39 ID: gy4h7uf

The Zen+ APUs is really more than enough for a large number of clerical business computing. So I can see a lot of those being available as very cheap parts in the coming years

17 : Anonymous2021/05/14 18:07 ID: gy4l2on

AAnnnnd it's ..ohh too soon?

18 : Anonymous2021/05/14 17:00 ID: gy4bu4v

AMD may try to enter new markets which dont need leading edge node based designs

19 : Anonymous2021/05/14 19:23 ID: gy4vftg


20 : Anonymous2021/05/14 19:40 ID: gy4xpdu

Budget chips for budget all in ones and laptops. IIRC, stuff like the a6-9220e (2018-2019) was being produced by glofo.

21 : Anonymous2021/05/14 19:45 ID: gy4yg9f
Zen CCDs for Epyc 7001 "Naples" customers and Ryzen 1000 OEM replacements Zen and Zen+ CCDs and APUs for desktop/laptop OEM customers who need drop-in replacements Motherboard chipsets I/O dies for CPUs and/or GPUs Future "cache dies" if they exist HBM2 and other memory NAND if they want to get into that business FPGAs (via their Xilinx acquisition) ARM/RISC-V chips for low-power, low-cost embedded devices like POS, ATMs, etc. Future chipsets if AMD want to encroach on Intel's turf (Ethernet, wireless, sound, etc.) Insurance in case there are 7nm/5nm/3nm shortages and they need to start pumping out older 12/14nm products just to produce inventory Who knows??

$1.6bn in wafer buys for 12nm goes way over the number of chips they'd need to satisfy the demand for replacement Zen and Zen+ chips for OEM and enterprise customers.

If I had to guess, a large chunk of that $1.6bn will be for motherboard chipsets (600 and 700 series) and Xilinx FPGAs; their FPGAs are currently 16nm or bigger, so a drop to 12nm may be worthwhile. Could just be a pretty diverse split between all of the above, though.

22 : Anonymous2021/05/14 20:52 ID: gy57bb3

AMD should use that production capacity for APUs and RX 500 series video cards. They would be selling like crazy and the demand will probably be there for the next six months or more.

ID: gy5dgix

...and would you want to be buying that in 2024?

I don't think so.

ID: gy5wnlg

Yeah, probably. Especially with some architectural improvements.

23 : Anonymous2021/05/14 21:10 ID: gy59n2d

With chiplets they can just make chips with more cores and current tech - sell at a discount for value and international buyers.

Or they can just keep selling current stuff as demand allows or subcontract it out.

However my best guess is consoles and custom solutions will use up most of it as most people that want the new consoles still don’t have one. And chiplet tech leaves room for easy upgrades later on (like future xbox series models) using the same process with very little RnD.

After all, they’re still fulfilling contracts to supply Ryzen 1600’s. That’s why the AF submodel exists - oem demand.

24 : Anonymous2021/05/14 21:13 ID: gy5a1cf

I don't know much at all about the scalability of uArch when going UP, but what about a cut down RDNA2 on 12nm? Lower clocks but less hotspot problems with 6-8gb ram on 6300/XT, and if the agreement is already set, I'm being the IO dies are locked up with TSMC. I have no idea, just a thought I had!

ID: gy5pdha

Very unlikely

Backporting costs a lot of time and money.

25 : Anonymous2021/05/14 22:17 ID: gy5i5k5

Where does this stipulate “last-gen”? I just see “$1.6 billion in wafer.” Without the full terms, this isn’t very meaningful. $1.6 billion over the next 3-4 years is nothing.

ID: gy5pg63

12nm/14nm from GlobalFoundries

26 : Anonymous2021/05/14 23:15 ID: gy5ow9m

Sell more cards to cryptos

ID: gy5p9ig

The agreement lasts until 2024.

The mining boom is soon going to turn into mining bust.

ID: gy5pfoa

Been saying that for years. I’m considering buying some old components and throwing them together, at this point.

28 : Anonymous2021/05/14 23:30 ID: gy5qn7x

I think amd is having a lot of problems with supply (well basically everyone is). This lets the release products and reach out into other markets without eating into there probably higher profit margin stuff they will do on tsmc. Basically think of it this way if you have a set amount of items u can sell, do u sell the ones u make more money on or the ones that make less. Obviously u want more money if your a public company. But if they can keep all that other profit and make money off of something that makes less, but it’s in addition to what u already have why not.

29 : Anonymous2021/05/14 23:46 ID: gy5sg09

The IO hub Die, if they did not move that process from GloFlow's 12nm, that could account for Zen3+ and Zen4 configs for the next few years....

30 : Anonymous2021/05/15 00:16 ID: gy5vrim

They could put all of that into low end GPUs and they would sell out, lol

31 : Anonymous2021/05/15 00:38 ID: gy5y4v3

GF has been a millstone around their necks for so long. That said, I thought they were done with that moneypit.

32 : Anonymous2021/05/15 00:48 ID: gy5z823

I/O dies, chipsets, the wifi chips they're buying from mediatek, custom embedded products for slot machines, etc etc.

Things they are not doing with them: FPGAs

33 : Anonymous2021/05/14 18:47 ID: gy4qnan

I'm guessing the next mountain bike will still have the same shit build quality, but some awesome processing power.


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