There is reason to be optimistic AMD will deliver its next-generation Zen 3 processors on schedule. AMD's manufacturing partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), says it has begun mass production chips based on its 7-nanometer plus (7nm+) Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology.
TSMC did not mention AMD by name, only that it is "delivering customer products to market in high volume." However, AMD has already confirmed its Zen 3 processors will be manufactured on a 7nm+ node, and said it August the design phase had been completed. At the time, AMD also stated the anticipated roll out of Zen 3 processors next year is "right on track."
For TSMC, this 7nm+ node is its first to implement EUV. The company also says it has been able to match yields to the original 7nm process that has been in production for over a year.
"EUV technology enables TSMC to keep driving chip scaling as the shorter wavelength of EUV light is better able to print the nanometer-scale features of advanced technology designs. TSMC’s EUV tools have reached production maturity, with tool availability reaching target goals for high-volume production, and output power of greater than 250 watts for day-to-day operations," TSMC says.
Compared to TSMC's original 7nm process, the new 7nm+ EUV node provides 15-20 percent more density and improved power consumption, the company says.
As it pertains to AMD, its Zen 3 CPUs will be an iterative upgrade over currently shipping Zen 2 silicon. Generally speaking, we are expecting a bump in performance per watt, though a more dramatic increase in both performance and features will likely come when Zen 4 arrives, which will possibly be built on a 6nm or even 5nm node.