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AMD in talks with Samsung to resolve chip shortages: rumour

by Mark Tyson on 2 February 2021, 11:11

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), Samsung (005935.KS), TSMC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaep5g

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Yesterday HEXUS reported upon the teasing of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card and, as is often the case these days, wrapped up by pondering over availability at launch. We did include a quote from the AMD CEO offering hope for H2 2021 with regard to the normalising of supplies through. But how will AMD be achieving this?

A rumour shared by Korean tech tipster Harukaze5719 points to AMD alleviating its supply constraints by dualizing some of its APU/GPU products to be TSMC/Samsung produced. The source is claimed to be "high accuracy" but I would still add a hefty pinch of salt, as for example this rumour comes via a Korean Twitter account, from a Hong Kong source, about a Korean tech giant…

The gist of the rumour can be broken down as follows, going from the translation:

  • AMD wants to increase its production volume at TSMC by 50 per cent
  • However, TSMC is very busy addressing the demands of Apple, and increasing pressure from automotive industry
  • Thus, AMD is discussing some processor design tweaking to ready for a new Samsung semiconductor process

Nvidia is already a dual TSMC / Samsung customer with its enterprise Ampere GPUs from TSMC, and consumer range of Ampere GPUs produced by Samsung. However, does that mean that Nvidia consumer GPUs are in bountiful supply? No - so even if this AMD-Samsung rumour is true it probably won't be a silver bullet.

Another possibility is that AMD's lower tier Radeon GPUs that haven't yet launched could go to Samsung. That would prevent the dualizing problem which was the source of Apple's iPhone 6S 'Chipgate' woes – when it dual-sourced its A9 SoCs and caused consumer ire.

Last but not least, one must remember that Samsung and AMD have a Radeon tech agreement where Samsung will be adding AMD GPUs to its Xynos SoCs in the not-too-distant future. Whispers about this could have sparked the headlining rumour – I guess we will have to wait and see what is announced over the coming months.



HEXUS Forums :: 43 Comments

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Samsung cannot meet what nvidia need for supply, so how are they going to manage with amd as well
eXistenZ
Samsung cannot meet what nvidia need for supply, so how are they going to manage with amd as well

What makes you think that? Nvidia not being able to meet demand does not mean Samsung are at max capacity for the node. Large ICs like GPUs have lead times extending into several months, and then you have to factor PCB manufacturing, assembly and transport on top of that.
Chip development architectures cannot be ‘ported’ easily; 8nm Samsung and 7nm TSMC are radically different (INFACT Samsung is not better) and the costs involved to a new FAB design are very high, its better to wait for TSMC to catch up (they are building new facilities). LETS NOT FORGET AMD has GlobalFoudries who can use TSMC licence (speculation), maybe its GF who want to use 8nm Samsung licence- they did that with 14nmLPP.
I presume they're talking about 5nm, since that's what apple etc. are on.
eXistenZ
Samsung cannot meet what nvidia need for supply, so how are they going to manage with amd as well

Winner takes all, I am guessing Nvidia will have the buying potential to short out AMD for a while. Good on AMD for trying.