Ryzen and Vega will get 12 nm versions in 2018
AMD’s CTO Mark Papermaster announced at the Global Foundries Technology Conference that current “graphics and client products” will transition from the Global Foundries 14 nm LPP FinFET manufacturing process towards the improved 12 nm LP process in the first quarter of 2018. According to Tom’s hardware, AMD’s CTO confirmed that the Vega GPUs and the Ryzen CPUs will get 12 nm version in early 2018.
The 12 nm variants should be part of the “Zen+” microarchitecture and are not to be confused with the 7 nm Zen 2 lineup that is slated for a late 2018 release. Zen 2 is expected to compete with Intel’s 10 nm Ice Lake CPUs that will be released next year.
On the GPU side, the Vega 12 nm variant could be released as a response to Nvidia’s Volta cards coming in early 2018. Nvidia seems to be ahead of the competition as it has already started shipping 12 nm Volta chips in the DGX-1 systems. The GeForce GTX 2000 GPUs are expected in early 2018, though, so AMD is most likely releasing the 12 nm Vega variant in response to them.
AMD’s transition to the 12 nm LP process stands as an insurance for the five-year wafer supply agreement signed with Global Foundries. Since AMD’s 7 nm processors are coming in late 2018, the 12 nm transition needs to happen fast in order to keep up with Intel’s 10 nm chips and Nvidia’s 12 nm GPUs.