Just like nVidia skipped 2009 with the introduction of their next-gen graphics architecture, AMD is skipping 2010. However, while nVidia’s GT300/Fermi GPU architecture slipped into 2010 due to problems in development – AMD decision to put 2010 on sidelines is "according to plan."

AMD Northern Islands are set to arrive in 2011, manufactured on 32nm proces... at GlobalFoundries Fab 1 Module 2 in Dresden?
AMD Northern Islands are set to arrive in 2011, 32nm process… at Fab 1 Module 2 in Dresden?

AMD’s next-gen graphics is codenamed "Northern Islands" and the reason why ATI will not launch a new graphics architecture for the first time since 2006 [R600 was supposed to launch on September 8, 2006 – slipped to May 14, 2007] is the switch to GlobalFoundries.

Dirk Meyer, President and CEO of AMD at boring Abu Dhabi GP. Photo credit: ITP.netIn a recent interview with Middle-Eastern website ITP.Net President and CEO of AMD, Dirk Meyer explained bits’n’pieces of AMD’s strategy "Next, we will insert graphics processors into Globalfoundries over the coming years, again to give them more volume and to give them more experience of servicing fab-less type customers, as ATI was historically fab-less."

Since the interview was made prior to AMD Financial Analyst Day 2009 and the sub-sequent announcement of the $1.25 billion settlement between AMD and Intel, the interview lacked comments in reaction to the events that unfold. However, when asked about future strategy, it was quite clear that AMD and GlobalFoundries will open a foundry in Abu Dhabi during the next decade and that the company will increase the percentage of production to GlobalFoundries. The move is quite logical, given the excess capacity owned by GlobalFoundries: in 2011, GlobalFoundries will have Fab 1 Module 1 and 2 at their disposal and with the finalization of Chartered Semiconductor acquisition, additional 300mm2 wafer manufacturing facilities in Singapore. Given that Chartered already manufactures CPUs for Xbox 360 and it is rumored that the foundry won a contract for Xbox "3", it is clear in which direction the AMD is heading.

AMD Fusion: 32nm CPU and GPU manufactured on a single die at Fab 1 Module 2
AMD Fusion: 32nm CPU and GPU manufactured on a single die at GlobalFoundries Fab 1 Module 2 in Dresden

In a light of recent trip and meeting on the high between nVidia and TSMC, nVidia’s President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated that "GlobalFoundries is AMD" and that nVidia has no intention of switching to ATIC-AMD-owned venture, keeping themselves on a 90% TSMC 10% UMC chip production ratio. It will be interesting to see how will the duel between 32nm parts from ATI and nVidia will pan out but we know that AMD and GlobalFoundries have a large task ahead: to migrate the 32nm GPU and a CPU onto the same die and to launch a 32nm generation of discrete products in the same year.