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Intel Announces Delays to Next-Gen 7nm Processors, Won’t Arrive Until at Least 2022

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Once an industry leader, Intel is now finding it hard to keep up with the competition.

According to a new report from Tom’s Hardware, Intel has announced a significant delay to its 7nm process during its second-quarter 2020 financial results, which could be detrimental to the company’s rivalry with AMD.

The earnings report states, “the company’s 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations,” which means we won’t see an Intel 7nm processor until 2022 at the earliest.

“We’ve root-caused the issue and believe there are no fundamental roadblocks, but we have also invested in contingency plans to hedge against further schedule uncertainty,” said CEO Bob Swan. “We0re mitigating the impact of the process delay on our product schedules by leveraging improvements in design methodology such as die disaggregation and advanced packaging. We have learned from the challenges in our 10nm transition and have a milestone-driven approach to ensure our product competitiveness is not impacted by our process technology roadmap.”

The delay comes in the context of Intel’s challenges to transition to 10nm products, with its product roadmap repeatedly delayed.

“We’ve seen this movie before,” Swan acknowledged Thursday. “We have learned from the challenges in our 10nm transition, and we have a milestone-driven approach to ensure our product competitiveness is not impacted by our process technology roadmap.”

In an unprecedented development, Intel also said that as a contingency it would use a competitor’s manufacturing facilities if it could not resolve the delay quickly. The company could use “our fabs or somebody else’s,” CEO Bob Swan said.

In the meantime, Intel is focusing on its growing portfolio of 10nm-based Intel Core processors, with “Tiger Lake” launching soon and the first 10nm-based server CPU “Ice Lake” planned for the end of the year.

In the second half of 2021, Intel expects to deliver a new line of client CPUs, code-named “Alder Lake.” This will include its first 10nm-based desktop CPU and a new 10nm-based server CPU, code-named “Sapphire Rapids.”

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