Intel today has announced that the company will be holding an event on March 23rd to discuss the future of engineering at the company. Dubbed “Intel Unleashed: Engineering the Future”, the hour-long webcast will be hosted by recently hired CEO (and Intel returnee) Pat Gelsinger.

Join Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger for a business update and webcast address on the new era of innovation and technology leadership at Intel.

While Intel’s official description is short and at a high level, given the subject matter and the fact that the presentation is scheduled for after the stock markets close, we’re expecting that this will be Intel’s much-awaited announcement on the future of the company’s manufacturing plans. For the last several months the company has been juggling the question of when and where to use third-party foundries versus investing in their own manufacturing technologies. Intel’s 7nm problems have become a black eye for the company, and the prolific processor producer has been under pressure from some investors to cut back on expensive R&D and just use pure-play foundries like TSMC.

Prior to Intel hiring Gelsinger to be their new CEO in mid-January, the company had been preparing to detail its future foundry plans in its January 21st earnings call. However after bringing Gelsinger on board, that announcement was put on hold to give Gelsinger a time to get up to speed, and possibly make his own mark if he decided to take the company in a different direction than then-CEO BoB Swan was preparing to go.

If this does turn out to be a detailed disclosure of Intel’s foundry plans, then it’s not an exaggeration to say that this webcast will be one of the most critical Intel presentations in years. Gelsinger and the rest of Intel’s upper management have some very difficult choices to make about manufacturing, and no matter what direction they opt to take on Tuesday, it’s going to have significant ramifications for not only Intel, but the rest of the silicon foundry industry as a whole. So tech enthusiasts and investors alike are going to be paying close attention to this announcement.

Source: Intel Newsroom

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  • shabby - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    Rocket Lake+ coming next year.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Double + good.
  • JayNor - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    They already stated in the q4 cc that the 6 month 7nm experiment fixed the yield issue that was delaying them.

    Looks like 10SF and 10ESF are doing better than expected, so no reason to rush into high volume server CPU products on 7nm in 2022.

    I expect them to announce that some GPUs will be done on 7nm in 2022. They already said this was an option for the Xe-HPC compute chiplets.

    Perhaps they will also announce the plan for Grand Ridge. That seems like a good candidate build on 7nm as a first CPU. One of its first appearances on leaked roadmaps did show it as 7nm.
  • Matthias B V - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Since GPUs are not so high volume yet I expect they keep them at TSMC 6nm for the next years and even move them to 5/3nm as TSMC is dong fine on GPUs. CPUs I rather expect to stay inhouse. Especially since they are a massive volume compared to Intel GPUs the next years.

    I rather expect volume parts (RaptorLakr and SaphireRapids) on 10nm in 2022 and some 5-35 Watt Mobile CPUs (MeteorLake) on 7nm EUV similar to what they did with IceLake 10nm / Comet Lake 14nm.

    And then move to 7nm for the whole protfolio in 2023 depending if they have enough EUV capacity.

    If 7nm is fine on metrics but yield ist just bad they could do so and just eat th elower margin but overall ok capacity (10+7nm). If metrics are not good even that is not an option. That would be really bad for Intel and consumers.
  • jjjag - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    First off, the first Intel 7nm offering will be a PC SOC. Quote from Swan "We now expect to see initial production shipments of our first Intel-based 7nm product, a client CPU, late in 2022 or early 2023". Since Intel has a history of underestimating their issues, add at least 2 Q to that estimate. if Pat G. does not come in with a realistic estimate of LATE 2023, then don't believe anything he says. Swan was CEO until a few weeks ago so nothing has changed yet.

    Secondly, it has nothing to do with "how well 10nm is doing". Intel is way behind in manuf. tech. and they are desperate to catch up. You better believe that if 7nm was healthy they would be in production TODAY. 7nm mostly uses the same mask/litho technology and same fabs as 10nm so you are not taking a depreciation hit by not using 10nm. They WILL "rush into high volume" as soon as they damn well can.

    GrandRidge is a don't care, it's a low volume product for a small set of customers. Raja K. already previewed the new GPU product, "Arctic Sound" and it's on 10nm and possibly external foundaries for the various dies that it uses. They will not even talk about 7nm GPUs until this one gets closer to production.
  • Gondalf - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Umm yes, 10ESF gives a 15% power reduction advandage over 10SF, so more or less they already have a 5nm equivalent process in power draw but with a larger silicon footprint. Intel have enough wafers to deal with it. Agreed the rush to 7nm is useless in 2021 and 2022.
    The production with EUV right now is a nightmare for TSMC, bad yields, so so pellicles, huge shortages. Not good at all.
  • Silver5urfer - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    We do not want words in the sky. We need proof to trust Intel.

    They should first address the Fabrication failures and then create a successor to the Ring Bus. Until they can do them AMD is going to chew them apart. Milan will crush Xeon Ice Lake SP since Intel is glued and using 10nmSF vs the tested TSMC 7nm which AMD got a lot of experience from. In HEDT Threadripper is uncontested champion. In Desktop maybe in games Rocketlake might get a few points but in SMT and Productive workloads 5950X chews Intel apart. With more core scaling programs and code, the Intel CPUs *might* be outdated.

    On top shedding the real money maker like 5G to Apple and then getting booted off from Apple, killing 3D NAND market (Intel 480 series SSDs and SLC were pretty dope) and now Optane 3D Xpoint also dead. This is not shedding, damn it they have to first shed the useless crap like Mobileeye and other junk like trying to come into GPU market. Focus on the bread and butter - CPU x86 innovation.
  • domih - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    Yes (Ryzen and Threadripper user here) but (a) INTEL is going to sell a lot of 11th gen via the usual distributors/integrators (b) INTEL has a massive momentum and large financial assets so they have the advantage for the attrition war with AMD and ARM (c) INTEL can continue to fool around for several years before eventually coming up with "the" new "killer" architecture. The story is ONLY about how many % of the market INTEL is going to lose to AMD and ARM before recovering. Anyway, competition is good. As soon as the supply chains, production and distribution channels recover from the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19, the price war will be bloody. For now, it is not a good time to buy or upgrade hardware, the prices are too crazy.
  • JayNor - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    Ice Lake Server is not 10SF. That is the Tiger Lake process.
  • JayNor - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    Intel announce there is no change in their Optane plans.

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