Amidst the global semiconductor chip shortage that’s affecting so many people and industries, chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) are bringing out the big guns to ramp up production. And they’re looking to AMD for help.
TweakTown reports that TSMC is currently using AMD EPYC server processors in their general workloads all throughout the company as of the moment. Even their Research and Development divisions are also using the full brunt of the high core-count beasts, and it looks like it’s paying dividends.
(Photo : Getty Images)
Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), speaks during a launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. AMD promoted its new server processor as better-performing than more expensive parts from rival Intel Corp., and said the company had won Google as a new customer for the product. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TSMC states that to maintain automation with their machinery, each one requires a single x86 server rack to control its operation speed and how much resources to consume, as reported on Tom’s Hardware. That x86 server is powered by an AMD EPYC CPU (or two of them, depending on the node setup). Considering that their automated fabrication processes are so-called “mission-critical” work, this means that AMD is slowly creeping into a territory largely controlled by Intel Xeons.
When TSMC was looking for something to power their x86 systems, they needed something to control three major components: compute, networking, and storage, WCCFTech reports. Short of going for broke by employing Xeons, the company decided to get AMD EPYC CPUs for this task. And it’s safe to say that the AMD behemoth is doing well.
Read also: The Ryzen Effect: AMD Reveals Incredible Sales Growth In Q1 2021
Chip-ception: Chips Making Chips
Here’s why one of the biggest semiconductor manufacturers in the world is relying on AMD: EPYC processors certainly live up to their names.
According to Network World, two EPYC 7742s were pitted against four Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M chips, and the performance-per-dollar numbers were so far apart, it’s not even funny. The EPYC chips with their 64 cores and 128 threads cost USD $6950, while the Xeons with their measly 28 cores and 56 threads were almost double that at USD $13011 each. But despite being outnumbered, the AMD CPUs outperformed their Intel counterparts by 3.74% in single core and 24.83% in multi-core performance.
Imagine? All that power for basically a fraction of the price of a competing Intel chip. What this might mean in the future is that chip-making can be much more efficient and faster. It also means that manufacturers like TSMC won’t be operating at a loss, which can be extremely helpful in trying to increase supply during the current CPU and GPU shortage.
(Photo : Getty Images)
NANTONG, CHINA – MARCH 17: Employees work on the production line of silicon wafer at a workshop of Jiejie Semiconductor Co., Ltd on March 17, 2021 in Nantong, Jiangsu Province of China. (Photo by Xu Congjun/VCG via Getty Images)
Right now, AMD is powering TSMC’s 1,000 fabrication tools using roughly 1,000 virtual machines created by a single server rack. Considering how cheap the EPYC chips are, they’re not as costly to replace in case one rack is down. Production will not experience major delays as a result.
Is That Light At The End Of The Tunnel?
The folks at Team Red are currently doing whatever they can to ramp up the production of their current-gen RX 6000 series, as a way of shoring up supply and combating the graphics card shortage. The same thing goes for their lineup of CPUs in the Ryzen and Threadripper line. And considering that they’re partners with TSMC, this is almost a win-win for AMD at this point. All that’s left for people now is wait and see where this goes.
Read also: AMD Vs. Intel Processors Comparison 2021: Which Is Better?
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Written by RJ Pierce
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