A little bit ago AMD sent out an announcement updating their official outlook for the second quarter of 2015. Though we don’t typically publish financial projections, the long and short of it is that AMD is looking to brace investors for a worse than expected Q2, after an already difficult Q1. Soft APU sales are being blamed for dragging down both revenue and gross margins, with AMD now expecting Q2 revenue to be down 8% sequentially, or around $950M, while the non-GAAP gross margin will be just 28%.

Much more interesting however is this little nugget of information buried in the announcement towards the end, offering a short update on AMD’s 20nm plans. AMD had previously announced their intentions to bring out some products at 20nm – these were most likely just APUs, with the only one we explicitly know about being the now-canceled Skybridge. In any case, AMD is now confirming that they have moved several of their 20nm designs to a “leading-edge FinFET node,” and as far as we know AMD no longer has any further 20nm projects in the pipeline. AMD’s press release does not state which foundries these products are now at – or indeed if they’re at multiple foundries – so it’s unknown at this time whether the work is at TSMC, GlobalFoundries, or split between the two of them.

The rationale for announcing this shift at this time comes from the financial aspect. AMD will be taking a $33M charge to their GAAP gross margin as part of the work required to move these designs to a new node. Jumping to FinFET nodes should improve the competitiveness of these products, and greatly so in the case of anything that needs to clock high or is otherwise heavily exposed to leakage, but of course this will take additional time and engineering resources in order to transition these products.

We expect AMD to discuss the issue in at least a bit more depth later next week, when they hold their Q2 earnings call on July 16th.

Source: AMD

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  • Spacewolf - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - link

    Somebody lives in unicorn fairy land.. Reply
  • D. Lister - Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - link

    Now if only shoving more cores in a CPU, while still sticking with a competitive power and thermal budgets, and then selling it CHEAPER, was as simple a matter as you make it sound, AMD would be all set. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Six cores would be enough. Reply
  • behrangsa - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Why they don't skip 20nm and use Samsung or other fabs' 10nm technology? Reply
  • Penti - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    There is no 10 nm technology, and GlobalFoundries use the same process as Samsung's fabs as they collaborate on process (IBM and Chartered was part of that collaboration too before being absorbed into GloFo the collaboration has roots in the old AMD days and should still contain elements that AMD developed, Charted fabbed some AMD processors around 10 years ago). So it's likely that they will split 14/16nm production between GloFo (which has fabs in US, Germany and Singapore both US and Germany has leading edge foundries) and TSMC. No one even has real trial runs of 10 nm yet, it's still only "in the roadmap". Most products will skip 20 nm here. Reply
  • behrangsa - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Duh! I replied to myself...

    Looks like TSMC's 10nm line will be ready by 2016: http://wccftech.com/tsmc-promises-10nm-production-...

    Hopefully AMD can use it when it becomes available for mass production.
    Reply
  • Penti - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    From what I see nobody as taped out any 10 nm projects yet for their trial run at TSMC, after that they must do risk production and after that volume production. So it's still years off. New designs will be out long before that. 2016 products will use 16FF+ at TSMC or 14 nm elsewhere. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Also risk production on 16FF+ has been around since Q4 2014 or so. Yet no products on the market use it. Snapdragon 820 isn't out yet for example, and isn't expected to be in phones until 16.

    16FF+ volume ramp up was to begin around July, but it takes months to produce the ASICs. http://www.tsmc.com/tsmcdotcom/PRListingNewsAction...

    They won't skip doing 16/14 nm products.
    Reply
  • testbug00 - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    No. 2018 for sub 100mm^2 at best. Well, or if you sell chips to a cost insensitive market maybe also in 2018. Reply
  • behrangsa - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Looks like TSMC's 10nm line will be ready by 2016: http://wccftech.com/tsmc-promises-10nm-production-...

    Hopefully AMD can use it when it becomes available for mass production.
    Reply

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