The numerous delays that Intel has had to face in its 10nm process, coupled with the progress AMD has made With Zen architecture in its different variants (Zen + and Zen 2), it has left the chip giant in a situation that, a few years ago, we could not have imagined.
It is a fact that Intel continues to lead the x86 processor industry, and that its market capitalization continues to double, in total value, AMD. However, the growing competition from the Sunnyvale firm and the problems with the process jumps that the Santa Clara giant is having are two realities that have ended up colliding with force, and the result has been a major earthquake that has shaken the foundations of the company that Bob Swan runs.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been the year of 14 nm ++ for Intel, but luckily this reality it is getting closer to change. A leaked PDF file of the well-known Taiwanese MDG Compal has revealed that Intel won’t launch new 14nm processors in 2021, and that during that year we will only see new chips in the 10nm process.
Intel will finally complete the transition to 10nm by 2021
We have been talking about the jump to 10 nm by Intel for several years. After the arrival of Broadwell architecture, back in 2015, the jump occurred at 14 nm. With Skylake, which arrived in 2016, we saw a “tock” on this process that significantly improved the IPC, and the next step was, in theory, to be the arrival of Cannon Lake, manufactured at 10nm.
You already know the story, the 10nm process that Intel had in hand at the time it was not technically or economically viable, so the company had no choice but to delay it and resort to continued tocks: Kaby Lake at 14 nm +, Coffee Lake at 14 nm ++, Coffee Lake Refresh at 14 nm ++ and Comet Lake at 14 nm ++.
The transition to the 10nm process began with the announcement of Ice Lake in its low-energy versions, but will not be completed until next year. According to the information we have found in the PDF of Compal Intel will launch:
- Tiger Lake U series and Y series processors, manufactured in 10nm ++ process.
- Ice Lake-SP server processors, manufactured in 10nm + process.
- Alder Lake-S processors, aimed at the general consumer market and manufactured in the 10nm ++ process.
We don’t have any details on whether all of these processors will ship only from Intel factories or if the Santa Clara company will have to outsource part of the production to TSMC. In any case, the important thing is that everything points to this being the last year of 14 nm, at least in theory.
I remind you that the 7nm process that Intel was shuffling ended up being discarded, and that due to this the company confirmed a delay of between 18 and 24 months, which means that the first processors of the giant of the chip manufactured in 7nm will not arrive until 2022 or 2023. If we put this in perspective and link all the information we have the conclusion is clear, Intel could use the 10nm process for 2021, 2022 and part of 2023.