AMD’s latest deal with GlobalFoundries could help close the gap with Intel

Intel Sandy Bridge wafer
AMD’s upcoming chips might have a slight edge over competitor Intel, but will it be enough to stay competitive? According to Tom’s Hardware, AMD has just restructured its wafer supply agreement with chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries, into a five-year contract with some interesting stipulations.

Both Intel’s Kaby Lake and AMD’s upcoming Zen are chips built on the 14-nanometer node. How they stack up to one another in practice remains to be seen, as Kaby Lake processors are still rolling out and Zen has yet to hit store shelves. But they’re built on the same node size, which ultimately means they’re like fighters in the same weight class.

One could easily outperform the other, but they’re coming into the fight on fairly even ground.

AMD has been in business with GlobalFoundries since 2009, but their most recent agreement has been retooled in a couple interesting ways. First up, it’s not just another annual agreement between the two companies, as they’ve had in the past. AMD’s revamped agreement with GlobalFoundries is a long-term, five-year agreement to order a certain number of wafers each year.

The long-term partnership between the two companies is particularly interesting because GlobalFoundries is skipping the upcoming 10nm node, and going straight for the hotly anticipated 7nm node.

If AMD’s next-gen processors are coming from GlobalFoundries, that means they’re probably going to be on the 7-nanometer node, not the 10nm node which Intel will be using – Intel has heavily invested in the 10nm node, so it’s unlikely they’d skip it entirely.

What does all this mean for your PC? Well, it means that in a few years AMD might have have a slight edge over Intel, with processors that could do a lot more with a lot less. A chip built on the 10nm node could be at a serious disadvantage against a similar processor built on a 7nm node.

Naturally, AMD’s upcoming processor, the Zen+, is more than likely going to remain a 14nm chip. This revamped agreement with GlobalFoundries won’t bear fruit for a while, but it’s definitely an interesting move that could very well change the game for AMD and Intel.


AMD will launch anniversary edition Radeon VII and 2700X to celebrate 50th year

Ahead of its new hardware lines launching this summer, AMD will celebrate its 50th anniversary with special editions of its top-tier gaming hardware: the Radeon VII and Ryzen 2700X.

AMD's upcoming Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…

From simple work tools to high-end gaming peripherals, these are the best mice

If you're looking to buy the best mouse for you, whether it's for gaming or work, we have something for you. We've put together a list of our favorite mice, all of which have great features and sell at a great price.

Amazon drops deals on Razer, Netgear, and Western Digital PC accessories

Grab these deals while you can: As part of their Deal of the Day promotion, Amazon is offering deep discounts on a wide variety of PC accessories including premium gaming mice, external hard drives, and even Wi-Fi routers.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

Working hard or hardly working? Do it right with these versatile PC desks

Looking for a new piece of furniture that will fit in your office, dorm, or gaming cave? Here are some of our favorite computer desks on the market, whether you're a serious gamer looking for an upgrade, or just moved into a new space.

Time to upgrade your storage? Here are the best SSDs you can buy right now

Solid state drives provide superior speed and more affordable than ever. Interested in buying one? We've found the top drives that range from $100 to $1,000 in price, so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Boost your PCs power by learning how to overclock your CPU

Is your PC just chugging along, a little slower than you'd like? Sometimes you just need a little more power under the hood. Before you pick up some new hardware, learn how to overclock your CPU.

Leaked memo: If your MacBook keyboard dies, Apple will fix or replace in one day

If your Apple MacBook keyboard is problematic, getting it fixed at a Genius Bar just got a lot easier. Apple has now mandated that its Geniuses repair or replace MacBook keyboards by the next working day.

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.