Intel’s graph of the previous and future. [credit: Intel ]
Earlier this 12 months, Intel obtained a brand new CEO and kicked off a brand new marketing strategy that might open its foundries to different chip-design corporations, identical to how TSMC and Samsung Semiconductor function. At its “Intel Accelerated” occasion in the present day, the corporate laid out a roadmap for its future as a for-hire foundry. Apart from the way forward for ever-smaller course of nodes, the corporate additionally introduced it has scored one of many world’s greatest chip designers, Qualcomm, as a future foundry buyer.
As a part of coming into the foundry market, Intel will begin naming its course of nodes extra like its rivals. The method-node numbers used for chips like “5nm” began out life as a measurement of transistor dimension, however finally the entrepreneurs obtained maintain of them and firms began dishonest down their numbers to look extra superior. Intel says its new naming scheme will higher align with how TSMC and Samsung discuss their foundry applied sciences. Gone are the times of “Intel 10nm Enhanced Tremendous Fin”—as a substitute, the node known as “Intel 7.” It ought to have a comparable density to the TSMC and Samsung 7 nm nodes and can be prepared for manufacturing in Q1 2022 (TSMC and Samsung are presently delivery “5nm” merchandise). “Intel 4″—which Intel beforehand referred to as “7nm”—is now stated to be equal to TSMC and Samsung’s Four nm node, and it’ll start manufacturing merchandise in 2023.
In the event you’re questioning what occurs once we run out of “nm” numbers, Intel’s gross sales pitch for that’s the “Angstrom” period, a unit of measurement that’s one-tenth of a nanometer. In 2024, the corporate needs to ramp up the “Intel 20A” course of node (so a “2nm” equal, however Intel was calling this node “5nm” beforehand, however bear in mind these are advertising and marketing numbers and probably not items of measurement). In early, 2025 the corporate can be engaged on “Intel 18A.”
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