A recent note to clients from JP Morgan, a leading financial services firm, claims that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is sampling 45nm processors designed by Advanced Micro Devices. Apparently, the contract semiconductor maker has signed an agreement of AMD to produce AMD’s chips that belong to Fusion project.
A news-story at DigiTimes web-site cites JP Morgan as indicating that AMD “is now field testing the bulk-silicon based central processing units”, though, the story does not indicate which of them. In addition, it is rumoured that “the foundry may have signed a foundry contract with AMD for the production of Fusion CPUs on 45nm”.
Even though no details are clear, but TSMC’s role in AMD’s Fusion project may not involve manufacturing of general-purpose processing cores, but only making graphics processing cores. It is well-known that the first generations of AMD Fusion processors may feature multi-chip-module design, which was already confirmed by AMD.
“A large error that has been made regarding Fusion is that people are thinking that this type of architecture will only be a single chip package architecture, meaning both the GPU and GPU are to be integrated on the same die. With Fusion we’ll be able to offer single chip and multi-chip products, which will also make it possible to have parallel GPUs in the same architecture,” said Giuseppe Amato, technical sales and marketing manager for AMD, in a recent interview.
Years ago AMD already outlined plans to integrate PCI Express bus controller into its chips and even licensed appropriate physical interfaces from Rambus, therefore, a multi-chip-module that consists of a CPU and GPU is fully possible and is also relatively easy to make: AMD only have to balance power consumption and thermal design power of its chips that form the solution.
Given the timeframes for the first AMD Fusion introduction, the first incarnation of the project may feature a K10 processing engine with built-in PCI Express interface made at AMD as well as Radeon HD 2000 (R600) graphics core produced by TSMC using 45nm technology. If the reports regarding TSMC making central processors for AMD are correct, the first Fusion may feature a custom-design CPU made in