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Intel is delaying the rollout of its 7nm processors until 2022 or 2023

By Kenny Yeo - on 25 Jul 2020, 9:24am

Intel is delaying the rollout of its 7nm processors until 2022 or 2023

(Image source: Intel)

Never mind that Intel's Q2 financial results were positive – revenue was US$19.7 billion and up by a whopping 20% – the big news was that the company's 7nm processors are going to be delayed.

From Intel's press release:

The company's 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations. The primary driver is the yield of Intel's 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company's internal target.

According to Intel CEO Bob Swan, they have identified a "defect mode" in its 7nm processor that caused yield degradation issues.

As a result the company will turn to its "contingency plans", which Swan later revealed was to use third-party foundries. A report says Intel will use external foundries for its upcoming 7nm Ponte Vecchio GPUs.

This is a terrible setback for the company. Rival AMD has already been shipping 7nm chips for months. Worse, these chips, like the Ryzen 4000 series for notebooks and more, have been more than competitive to Intel's 10th generation offerings.

And just days ago, TSMC announced that it will start risk production of 3nm processors in 2021 and will begin mass production in 2022.

Intel's constant delays and hiccups with regards to manufacturing process is often cited as one of the examples why Apple chose to transition its Macs to its custom processors.

And if this keeps up, I'd expect PC makers to start taking longer and harder looks at other ARM alternatives.

Intel said it will provide more updates at its upcoming Architecture Day. The company is also slated to announce "something big" on 2nd September – likely its new Tiger Lake CPUs which are built on an improved version of Intel's 10nm+ architecture.

Source: Tom's Hardware