At Intel's Investor Day today, CEO Bob Swan and Murthy Renduchintala spoke to the ability of the company with respect to its manufacturing capabilities. Intel has historically been strong in its ability to execute on its process technology, however the delay of its 10nm process has obviously raised multiple question marks, and has done for several years. The two Intel executives went into a little detail about what Intel was doing in the interim, and how it has learned from the issues.

Back in 2013, Intel envisoned its 10nm to succeed the 14nm by providing 2.7x density, with new technologies such as Self-Aligned Quad Patterning (SAQP), Contact over Active Gate (COAG), Cobolt Interconnects, and new packaging technologies such as EMIB and Foveros. Intel admits that this was an ambitious plan, and the goals were not clearly defined with the teams and it was ultimately overly complex and not managed in an ideal way.

This ended up pushing 10nm out into a later time frame. In this case, Intel pushed 10nm out to 2019 (technically they shipped Cannon Lake in small quantities on 10nm in 2017, however that is nothing more than a curio in the timeline of semiconductors), and filled the gap with 14+ and 14++.

Intels 14+ and 14++ processes extracted more than 20% more performance (from Broadwell to Whiskey Lake) from the process since its inception. As a result, Intel is prepared to not only get ready for future intra-node optimizations, but actually adjust the roadmap to compensate for it. Murthy made it clear that Intel wants to introduce a Moore's Law-like gain at the beginning of a new process, and another similar gain by the end of the process.

Intel has stated that its 10nm product family (beyond Cannon Lake) will start to be available from the middle of this year (2019), with Ice Lake on client platforms (notebooks).

Intel will be launching multiple 10nm products through 2019 and 2020, including server based 10nm in the first half of 2020:

In the above slide, Intel states that it will have 7nm in production and launching a product in 2021. That sounds very aggressive for a company that has had issues with 10nm. It even shows in Intels radmap, with 10nm (and 10+ and 10++) having a much shorter life cycle than the 14nm family of processes.

With this in mind, Intel's 7nm is going to be the combination of what Intel has learned from the 14nm and 10nm family of products. Intel wants that 2x scaling (Moores Law), but with intra-node optimations planned as part of the roadmap. Intel is also reducing its number of design rules, which should help with execution. 7nm will also be where Intel intersects with EUV, and also introduce next-gen Foveros and EMIB packainging.

Intel provided this slide, which shows a monolithic PC-Centric die with a multi-die Data-Centric chip built on both Foveros and EMIB. This corroborates our discussion with Intel's chiplet and packaging team, who also stated that we would see Foveros and EMIB on a combined product - specifically the GPU.

Intel announced that its lead 7nm product (lead = top, or lead = first?) would be its new GPGPU, built on the Xe graphics architecture. Intel has stated that its Xe product stack will feature two different microarchitectures from mobile client up to GPGPU, with one of those architectures called Arctic Sound - technically Intel will launch its first discrete GPU in 2020 according to its press release, however the 7nm GPGPU will be launched in 2021.

More information is coming out of Intel's Event, more to follow.

Related Reading

Source: Intel



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  • HStewart - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    This article is wonderful news and it going to be interesting to find out actually what comes in June. I was expecting some article from AMD to try to steal the thunder from Intel which typically happens in the past.

    I am sure Intel is working very hard to make this happen, with all the complaints of 10nm / Cannon Lake process and also more important and more visual issue with Spectre/Meltdown fixes. Sites like this have a lot of desktop gamers and 10nm / 7nm stuff is important but to average user it not important.

    Personally myself, I was thinking of getting an Ipad with cellular connection, but I thought about it and usage of iPad and for me Windows applications were major importance - so I thought of Surface Go and then I thought about performance - so for me the idea next computer would be Lakefield based tablet with cellular connection. That would be best of both worlds with both performance for single thread apps and lower power for portability.
  • sa666666 - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    Hmm, strange how the now 'unimportant' things are ones that Intel is no longer dominant at. You didn't have that opinion when Intel was at the top in those areas.

    Your bias is really showing here; just admit it.
  • HStewart - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    I guess adding more alu's and store unit to architexture is no longer important. Everyone has opinion but concentrate on minor part of industry such as desktop does not some important. Have you been to BestBuy lately and seen the number of laptop vs desktops lately. 10 years ago there was a at least a roll of them but not any more.

    You can't consider the parts that one purchase from Amazon, Newegg or other places as the entire industry.

    This does not matter if Intel or AMD, just go to BestBuy and compare laptops vs desktops. That sounds like more important area to focus on to me. But you maybe right and not sure about it, but AMD might dominate in desktops at this point in time - but how really important is that in industry where majority of computers are mobile now.

    The following link shows you example of statistics. Desktops have drop from 157million to 88million between 2010 and 2019 (2018-2023 est on this chart) and 2023 is estimated at 79.5 million which is about 1/2 while Laptops have gone from 201 to 171 million and tables have gone from 19 million to 136 million. From the chart, and information, I believe it on PC based.

    Not sure how 2in1 like my Dell XPS 15 2in1 is accounted in this
  • Irata - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    " I was expecting some article from AMD to try to steal the thunder from Intel which typically happens in the past."

    Seriously - as I stated earlier, being a fan is not an issue, but having an extremely warped view of reality is.

    What happened whenever AMD announced a new product (or was about to) ? Intel demoed or announced a super awesome much faster

    Remember Computex 2018 when AMD was to present Threadripper 2 (an actual product) ? Intel demoed their "upcoming" 28 Core 5 Ghz CPU....except that it was never released anywhere near these specs, much later, in very limited quantity, at high prices, needing special mainboards....
  • silverblue - Friday, May 10, 2019 - link

    ...and needing a special water chiller if you dared to overclock it anywhere near the 5GHz in the presentation. 28 cores at 5GHz is one thing, 2.3KW power consumption is quite another. Reply
  • DannyH246 - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - link

    Anandtech helpfully publishes pages and pages of all the new things Intel will be bringing to market in the next 3-5 years, but NOTHING about the latest round of security flaws. E.g Zombieload

    How about no thanks Intel. Not interested. Fix your existing crap before telling us about all the new stuff you’re working on.
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    this is all just a PR spoiler because AMD is going to start shipping Zen3 soon.... It will be ready for back2school. Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Friday, May 10, 2019 - link

    Zen2 or Ryzen 3rd generation but yes. Reply
  • RealBeast - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    And we'll see full HW security mitigations finally in the 7++? Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    Hardware Migrations are not related to process - Sunny Cove architexture will have hardware Migrations in it - please stop spreading these lies. This is not WCCFTech. Reply

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