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AMD: We are actively designing 14nm FinFET chips

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday confirmed for the first time that it is actively designing several chips that will be made using 14nm FinFET process technology. The announcement from AMD indicates that the company will manufacture its new chips either at GlobalFoundries or Samsung Electronics, not at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which is a huge surprise.

“We are actively designing a number of products in the 14nm FinFET process technology,” said Lisa Su, chief executive officer of AMD, during a conference call with investors and financial analysts.

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TSMC, the world’s largest contract maker of semiconductors, will offer its customers 16nm FinFET and 16nm FinFET+ manufacturing technologies starting from Q3 2015. By contrast, GlobalFoundries and Samsung Electronics will use 14nm LPE (low power early) and 14nm LPP (low power plus) fabrication processes to produce chips for their clients. In fact, Samsung is already making semiconductors using 14nm LPE technology, whereas GlobalFoundries expects to start making 14nm chips sometimes in the first half of the year.

AMD did not reveal which of its chips will be made using 14nm FinFET fabrication process and which of the two technologies will be used. However, it is logical to expect the company to utilise various 14nm technologies for all types of its products, including accelerated processing units, central processing units, graphics processing units as well as semi-custom chips for various applications.
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Separately, AMD confirmed that it would reveal more details about its long-term roamdaps in the coming months at the financial analyst day.

“Relative to timing on FinFET, we will be talking more about our long-term roadmaps at our financial analyst day,” said Ms. Su.

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KitGuru Says: If AMD plans to use 14nm FinFET instead of 16nm FinFET, this will mean that it will cut its orders to TSMC. This could be an alarming sign for TSMC since AMD is one of the largest customers of the company.

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