AMD’s Zen 5 processors are likely to get delayed by a few quarters if a DigiTimes report is to be believed. According to the Taiwanese publication, TSMC’s 3nm capacity has already been booked out by two companies, namely Apple and Intel. This means most fabless chipmakers including AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and MediaTek will have to wait a year or so to get a taste of the foundry’s next major node. The N3 process has been reportedly prioritized for Intel and Apple, both of whom have poured billions into ensuring their share of the capacity.
Apple and Intel are expected to get the first wave of 3nm chips sometime in 2023. The latter will leverage these on two fronts. Firstly, to produce the GPU chiplets of its first MCM design, Meteor Lake, and secondly, for its 2nd (or 3rd) Gen Arc GPUs. The 14th Gen Core processors should arrive towards the end of 2023.
This means AMD will either have to stick to TSMC’s 5nm-class nodes or delay its Zen 5 lineups by 6-12 months. From what we’ve seen with Zen 2 and Zen 3, it’s clear that the chipmaker is capable of pushing the performance and power envelope without requiring an entire node shift. Therefore, either using advanced packaging technologies (3D V-Cache) or higher core counts (additional chiplets per CPU), we expect AMD to deliver the expected generational upgrade with Zen 5, with or without TSMC’s 3nm node.
With the Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000 and Epyc Genoa processors slated for a late 2022 launch, we expect the Zen 5 parts to arrive sometime in mid or late 2024. AMD has been very particular with its roadmap, so we don’t expect the Zen 5 designs to get delayed, although we may see the N5 node reused.