Report: TSMC set to fabricate Volta and Centriq on 12-nm process

We're still gawping at the massive performance of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, but here's a nugget of news about Nvidia's next big thing. According to a report from Taiwan's Commercial Times, TSMC will be fabricating Nvidia's upcoming Volta GPUs on its new "12nm" process. Currently, TSMC's most efficient process is called "16nm FFC", and given that it debuted back in April 2015, it's about time for an update.

We hadn't heard about the new process before, but it's no surprise that TSMC is moving forward, seeing as its competitors are already manufacturing 10-nm parts. Of course, the nomenclature for process technologies is a bit fuzzy on all sides, so take those feature-size numbers with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately, the report in Commercial Times doesn't actually offer new information about the Volta GPU. We still don't know much about the new parts besides the fact that they'll apparently use of stacked memory. Since the top-end Pascal parts are already using HBM2, that's hardly news. Nvidia has offered a vague "2018" launch window for Volta, and given the company's history we'd expect a full range of GPUs based on the new architecture.

The Commercial Times report also mentions that TSMC will be fabricating Qualcomm's Centriq 2400 ARM-based server processors on the same 12-nm process, so between the two bits of news, it appears that the new process may be tuned for high-performance parts rather than low-power designs.

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