Intel plans to start dispatching its 10nm processors by June this year

Ruben Fields
May 12, 2019

In laying out its 10nm and 7nm timelines, Intel revealed that its first 7nm product would be a GPU targeted for datacenter and HPC applications. Keynotes were presented by Intel CEO Bob Swan and business unit leaders.

Keeping the promise, Intel's Chief Engineering Officer, Murthy Reduchintala today announced that the company is all set to start the shipping of the 10nm-based Ice Lake processor from June this year. "It is expected to deliver approximately three times faster wireless speeds, two times faster video transcode speeds, two times faster graphics performance, and 2.5 to three times faster artificial intelligence (AI) performance over previous generation products", Intel spouted. Of course, things are bound to change and get shuffled around when looking that far into the future, but as of this moment, that is Intel's roadmap.

AMD, in the meantime, said it plans to launch its first 7nm EPYC "Rome" server processors, as well as its first 7nm Radeon Navi client GPUs, in the third quarter. By the second half of 2019, Swan said, the pressure on Intel's fabs will lessen, and the company will again be able to satisfy customer demand. They will also be the first mobile chips from Intel to natively support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard and substantial gains in battery performance inherent to the new fabrication process.

Renduchintala highlighted lessons learned on the 10nm path: "the value in maintaining a mix of nodes that provide flexibility to optimize for product performance, time to market and margin", and the importance of "making it easy and fast for our development teams to migrate their designs through internode transitions".

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Intel Xe Architecture. Source: Tom's Hardware. However, 10nm and 10nm+ CPUs are also listed to be arriving in 2019 and 2020, so there will be other options. As per Intel's presentation, these CPUs will feature a new Xe graphics engine for enhanced graphics performance along with next-gen I/O technology.

Intel plans to launch 10nm chips for high-end personal computers later this year, and for servers early next year. It will embody a heterogeneous approach to product construction using advanced packaging technology.

Intel said it's betting aggressively to try and retake the manufacturing process technology leadership it's lost to fabs like TSMC. Intel's 7nm will be the company's first mass production of a process node using EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography technology, providing a 2X improvement in density compared to 10nm.

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