AMD Confirms 20nm Products Moved to FinFET, Warns on Q2’15 Earningsby Ryan Smith on July 6, 2015 4:55 PM EST
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.