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Is this really the end of Intel's tick-tock manufacturing cycle?

By Wong Chung Wee - on 24 Mar 2016, 11:47am

Is this really the end of Intel's tick-tock manufacturing cycle?

(Image source: Intel)

Keen eyes at the Motley Fool have picked up on a pertinent point in Intel’s annual financial report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The chip manufacturer expects to stretch its current and next generation fabrication processes beyond its familiar tick-tock cycle.

(Image source: Intel)

In its 10-K filing, Intel stated that “...expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14nm and our next generation 10nm process technologies, further optimizing our products and process technologies while meeting the yearly market cadence for product introductions.” So with that said, we can safely assume that the next generation CPUs in the upcoming, or not, tick cycle to be delayed. Instead, Intel has stated the next CPU refresh will be the Kaby Lake series that is based on its current 14nm fabrication technology.

This also points us to the neck-to-neck process node race between Intel and TSMC. The latter is expected to begin 10nm production this year, so this may also indicate that Intel doesn’t have a distinct advantage in terms of smaller process nodes. However, the incumbent chip manufacturing leader may still have the last laugh as the company stated that due to its tight control of its manufacturing workflows unlike “...other manufacturers…”, due to the fact that Intel “...primarily manufacture our products in our own facilities.” Therefore, this in-house approach enables the company “...to optimize performance, shorten our time-to-market, and scale new products more rapidly.” So despite the danger of losing out on its advantage when it comes to smaller node process nodes, Intel appears to be confident of its other inherent competitive advantages. Do visit this link for its full 10-K financial statement.

(Source: Intel via The Motley Fool)

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