AMD to base its first Fusion chip on a 40nm TSMC process?

— 11:10 AM on August 4, 2008

Could AMD enlist the help of Taiwanese contract foundry TSMC to make its first Fusion hybrid processor? That rumor surfaces every now and again, and TG Daily is the latest to revive it. Grounding its report on claims from "industry sources," the news site says TSMC will produce the microprocessor/graphics processor chimera using 40nm process technology.

TG Daily refers to the chip as Shrike, although that's actually what AMD called its 2009 mobile platform when discussing its roadmap last year. AMD then said the Shrike platform would feature Swift, a 45nm chip with three K10-class processor cores, one GPU core, and an integrated DDR3 memory controller. TG Daily alleges that the CPU part will in fact include two cores, while the GPU part will be based on AMD's next-gen RV800-series architecture.

Whatever Swift ends up containing, AMD would need to architect it with bulk silicon in mind for TSMC to be able to handle manufacturing. That could mean making some serious tweaks to the CPU cores, since AMD currently produces all of its microprocessors using silicon-on-insulator tech. Still, TG Daily says AMD will extend its reliance on TSMC as time goes on—supposedly, the Taiwanese foundry will produce AMD's first CPU based on the next-gen Bulldozer architecture using 32nm SOI tech. Perhaps that's all part of AMD's elusive asset-smart plan.

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