AMD has decided to revise the Wafer Supply Agreement(WSA) with GlobalFoundries. AMD will continue to pay for wafers through the end of 2024 and is expected to spend $1.6 billion. However, all exclusivity obligations have been lifted so that AMD can now have chips manufactured anywhere and with any technology.
The contract manufacturer GlobalFoundries, which emerged from the spin-off of AMD’s semiconductor plants in Dresden, is still closely associated with AMD, at least legally. Because both companies maintain a so-called Wafer Supply Agreement, under which AMD is obliged to purchase certain quantities of wafers and GlobalFoundries in turn to provide the corresponding production capacities.
The last WSA is from 2019, stipulates that AMD must use a certain amount of wafers for 12/14 nm production exclusively from GlobalFoundries by 2021.
GlobalFoundries had discarded its own 14XM process and licensed 14LPP from Samsung Foundry; this process is still in use today in an optimized form as 12LP(+). AMD uses it for the I/O dies of the Eypc and Ryzen CPUs; these chips contain, among other things, the DDR4 memory controller and the PCIe Gen4 lanes.
Now, AMD no longer has any restrictions on the use of other manufacturers’ offerings. AMD now has the full flexibility to enter into contracts with any other contract manufacturer, regardless of which product or manufacturing process is used. AMD now has the actual CPU dies manufactured by the contract manufacturer TSMC using the 7 nm process — this was already permitted under the previous agreement.