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This is Intel's new roadmap and plan for market leadership by 2025

By Kenny Yeo - on 27 Jul 2021, 10:14am

This is Intel's new roadmap and plan for market leadership by 2025

(Image source: Intel)

At today's Intel Accelerated event, CEO Pat Gelsinger shared Intel's plan for market leadership by 2025. Specifically, he shared the next five generations of process node technologies.

To start, there will be a new naming scheme that Intel claims will provide "a more accurate view of process nodes across the industry."

Certainly, there's a sense that Intel is trying to obfuscate customers, but the fact is that process node names don't necessarily refer to the size of a transistor on a chip and that Intel's 10nm process is actually very close to Samsung's and TSMC's 7nm processes.

At any rate, here's what we can expect from Intel in the next few years.

(Image source: Intel)

Current architectures like Tiger Lake and Intel's discrete Xe graphics will remain known as 10nm SuperFin.

Intel's 10nm Enhanced SuperFin products such as Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids will now be known as Intel 7.

Intel 7nm will now be called Intel 4 and this will encompass its upcoming Meteor Lake processors. Intel expects Intel 4 to deliver a 20% performance per watt gain over Intel 7. Expect Meteor Lake to arrive in Q2 2021.

Intel 3 is next and it is a refinement of Intel 4 with increased use of EUV lithography and new high-density libraries. Intel is expecting an 18% performance per watt improvement with manufacturing ramping up in the second half of 2023.

What was previously known as Intel 5nm will be called Intel 20A. The A stands for Ångström – the unit of measurement smaller than nanometer (10A = 1nm). Intel 20A will use a new transistor architecture called RibbonFET and an interconnect technology called PowerVia. This will debut in the first half of 2024.

What you don't see on the chart above is Intel's most advanced process called Intel 18A. It is with this process that Intel hopes to reclaim market leadership. 18A will use the latest EUV lithography technologies and the company's second-generation RibbonFET technology. Intel says this will come in early 2025.

Looking at the purposed dates, the best way to sum up this roadmap is that it's aggressive. But then it has to be because Intel is playing catch up. Putting all the nomenclature aside, the simple fact of the matter is that AMD products have never been more competitive or attractive. And then there's Apple's superb M1 chip. Intel has to go on the attack if it was to achieve its goal of reclaiming market leadership by 2025.

The next few years should be very interesting.

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