Saturday, 25 July 2020 05:51

Intel forced to delay introduction of 7nm chips by at least a year Featured

Intel chief executive Bob Swan. Intel chief executive Bob Swan. Courtesy Intel

Intel will be forced to delay the introduction of 7nm CPUs, with the company telling investors on Friday it would have to push back the schedule for producing the most advanced semiconductors by six months as it has no economically viable way to produce them at the moment.

During the announcement of its second-quarter results, Intel said: "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 12 months behind the company's internal target."

This would mean that it could be 2023 by the time Intel starts producing 7nm-based CPUs. Only two companies — Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company — produce them at the moment.

Intel has dominated the processor sector for decades but is now beginning to feel pressure from AMD. The latter is already using 7nm-based CPUs and by the time Intel catches up, AMD may already have moved to 5nm-based Ryzen 6000 processors based on Zen 4 architecture.

The disclosure came on the day that Intel announced its results for the second quarter, with chief executive Bob Swan saying the firm had identified a "defect mode" in its 7nm production process that led to degradation in yields.

intel q2 results

Swan said Intel's data centre GPU design, “Ponte Vecchio”, would now be released in late 2021 or early 2022 using external and internal process technologies combined with Intel's packaging technologies.

"We now expect to see initial production shipments of our first Intel-based 7nm product, a client CPU in late 2022 or early 2023," he said. "We are also focused on maintaining an annual cadence of significant product improvements independent of our process roadmap, including the holiday refresh window of 2022.

"In addition, we expect to see initial production shipments of our first Intel-based 7nm data centre CPU design in the first half of 2023."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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