As 7nm schedule continues slipping, Intel contemplates Third-party fabs

A hand removes a chip from an electronic component.

Enlarge / Intel’s persevering with setbacks when growing newer, denser manufacturing processes increase questions on the way it will compete with AMD—not to mention rising ARM-based rivals like Amazon, Apple, or Ampere. (credit score: MaximumPC / Getty Photographs)

Yesterday, Intel’s Q2 2020 earnings report introduced extra grim information for the corporate’s superior manufacturing processes. Its next-generation 7nm manufacturing course of is now a full 12 months delayed, with these elements now scheduled to see the sunshine of day no sooner than late 2022.

Intel’s 14nm barrier

Intel’s struggles with 7nm growth and manufacturing comply with what can generously be described as a less-than-successful transition to 10nm. In March of this 12 months, Intel CFO George Davis described the corporate’s 10nm course of (utilized in its present Ice Lake line of laptop computer CPUs) as “[not] the very best node that Intel has ever had,” occurring to say that 10nm Intel can be “much less productive than 14nm, much less productive than 22nm… it is not going to be as sturdy a node as folks would count on from 14nm or what they will see in 7nm.”

These struggles to get larger clock speeds and higher yield charges out of 10nm has pressured Intel to proceed counting on its getting old 14nm course of, now so aged and regularly revised it is sometimes called “14nm++++.” The Ice Lake 10nm laptop computer CPUs are a great distance from nugatory—as a consequence of their larger built-in GPU efficiency and energy effectivity, they are a premium selection for battery-constrained gadgets. However even in laptops, Intel Ice Lake 10nm competes straight towards Intel Comet Lake 14nm, with the highest-performance Intel elements coming from the older course of.

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