Intel Plans 10nm Chip Shipments in June, 7nm in 2021

Intel to launch 7nm chip products in 2021

The company said it will release "multiple" 10nm chips throughout the rest of this year and next, including a general-purpose graphics processing unit, and specialized chips such as field-programmable gate arrays and its AI-focused Nervana processor.

The latest update is in line with comments Intel CEO Bob Swan recently made during a conference call with investors.

Intel at its 2019 investor meeting this week said it will begin shipping its first volume 10-nanometer processor, codenamed Ice Lake, in June. It is expected to deliver approximately three times faster wireless speeds, two times faster video transcode speeds, two times faster graphics performance, and 2.5-3 times faster artificial intelligence (AI) performance over previous generation products, the company claimed.

Looking further ahead, Intel also has plans of transitioning to its own 7nm node, starting in 2021. Additional 10nm chips will follow through 2019 and 2020.

Building on a model proven with 14nm that included optimizations in 14+ nm and 14++ nm, Intel will drive sustained process advancement between nodes and within a node, continuing to lead the scaling of process technology according to Moore's Law, the company noted. However, Intel's 10nm is roughly on par with AMD's 7nm.

Intel's Xeon processors will continue to be the company's key components for datacenters, but there will be a host of other products for other datacenter workloads, including Xe GPUs, a variety of FPGAs and others.

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".

Intel announced they would launch the 7nm process in 2021 in challenging not only of AMD but also TSMC. Intel's Xe Graphics Architecture will be its leading 7nm product. In 2020, Tiger Lake will be launching and is confirmed to be based on 10nm and house new Intel Xe graphics. It will embody a heterogeneous approach to product construction using advanced packaging technology.

Dr. Murthy Renduchalata dove in deeper on the difficulties that Intel encountered in its move to 10nm process, such as taking on too much risk on 10nm design goals. The company is expecting around 20% boost in performance per watt, and the extreme ultraviolet lithography required to create it should be useful for several generations of small processes.

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