We heard back in May that AMD was already preparing for the jump to 7nm CPUs in time for ‘Zen 2’ and ‘Zen 3’ some time in the next few years but it seems that the company is beginning to open up about the difficulties getting there. In an interview this week, AMD’s CTO explained that 7nm is “the toughest” generational leap he has seen for years.
AMD CTO, Mark Papermaster, discussed the company’s 7nm plans with EE Times this week, saying that the company had to “double” its efforts “across foundry and design teams” in the build up to 7nm. So far it’s “the toughest” generational bump he has seen in a long time, requiring completely new CAD tools and changes to architecture.
Here is the full quote: “we had to literally double our efforts across foundry and design teams…It’s the toughest lift I’ve seen in a number of generations. The 7nm node requires new “CAD tools and changes in the way you architect the device and how you connect transistors. The implementation and tools change as well as the IT support you need to get through it”.
Now, 7nm is seen as “a long node” similarly to 28nm, which will allow teams to focus on micro-architecture rather than redesigning everything again for the next process node. While 7nm may end up lasting us quite some time, it is also going to take us a while to get there from the sounds of it.
KitGuru Says: 7nm technology is still a few years away but it’s interesting to hear the inside perspective on it. Hopefully it will be worth the wait. For the time being though, we’ll still be seeing 14nm and 14nm+.