Intel announced delays for 7nm process, expects a debut no earlier than 2022
Intel seems to be in a pretty deep rut with their manufacturing processes. After being stuck on 14nm for what seems like ages due to an ailing 10nm process, it seems that they will have trouble bringing 7nm to market on time too. They have just announced delays for their 7nm process in today’s Q2 2020 earning release, pushing back the possible launch date of Intel’s 7nm CPUs until late 2020 or early 2023.
Intel has reportedly identified a “defect mode” in their 7nm process, which results in poorer yields. Intel’s CEO did give everyone a glimmer of hope though, saying that they have found the cause of the issue and believes that there are no fundamental roadblocks to iron out the issues. More updates regarding Intel’s 7nm process is expected to be revealed soon.
Despite the positive note, Intel is expecting a 12-month delay from their initial projections for 7nm production. With that, they will be pushing back their 7nm server CPUs to 2023, later than their initial plans to unveil the processors in 2022. With their own 7nm process not expected to be capable to be ready in time, Intel has plans to enlist the services of third-party chipmakers to produce certain chiplets for the upcoming Ponte Vecchio GPUs. These GPUs are expected to arrive by late 2021 or early 2022.
In all that bleakness, Intel does have some good news for consumers. Intel’s first 7nm chips will debut for the client market, which hints that it will be most probably featured in Intel’s laptop processors first. Intel had a similar strategy for 10nm as well, as we saw with the rather obscure Cannon Lake CPUs. The first 10nm desktop processor with be Alder Lake, which will debut in the second half of 2021. Alder Lake is expected to require a new socket in addition to serving up a new core configuration, so it is quite promising.
Intel is expecting to increase its production of 10nm chips by 20% from their initial plans, which hints that the 7nm delays are forcing Intel to churn out more 10nm chips. Intel is reportedly hoping to be able to squeeze out more performance from the 10nm chips than what we are looking at currently, although they are also quite realistic about the shortcomings, mentioning that it “just isn’t going to be the best node that Intel has ever had”.
Well, with all that said, let’s just see what can Intel bring to the table with 10nm in the desktop space next year! I do see Tiger Lake being quite competitive with some serious GPU performance, and they would be quite an interesting option if Intel can up the core count to match AMD’s Ryzen 4000U offerings.
Pokdepinion: I hope Intel can compete well with AMD in the coming years… No one wants a new monopoly in the CPU market.