AMD's Mark Papermaster announced today that the CPU and GPU vendor will be "transitioning graphics and client products" to a new "12nm" process at GlobalFoundries in 2018. The announcement came today at the GlobalFoundries Technology Conference in mostly-cloudy Santa Clara. GlobalFoundries calls the new process 12LP, and as usual, the LP stands for "Leading Performance."
Tom's Hardware followed up with Papermaster after the conference and confirmed that both Vega GPUs and a further iteration of Ryzen CPUs will be produced by GloFo on the new 12LP process. According to past rumors, AMD had intended to ship the next iteration of the Zen core on a 7nm process sometime in 2018. It's not clear whether Papermaster was talking about a possible Ryzen refresh of sorts on the 12LP process, or if the so-called "Zen 2" has been pulled back to 12nm from its purported 7nm aims.
GlobalFoundries says the new process can provide up to a 15% improvement in circuit density over its own 14LPP technology, implying that it's a bit more involved than a simple refinement. Although node names are basically hopes and dreams at this point, GloFo's 12LP should at least reflect a real advance. Not long ago, Samsung announced its own "11nm" process, and as far back as March we heard whispers of TSMC's "12nm" process, so in a sense GlobalFoundries is playing catch-up here. However, this move from GloFo is a little surprising given that the company specifically said it was skipping over any intermediate steps to move directly to its 7nm process.