Intel provided an update regarding its upcoming fabrication technologies at its 2019 Investor Meeting. The company is on track to produce server-class products using its 10 nm manufacturing technology already in the first half of 2020, which is something that the company implied on for a while now, but never confirmed officially. What is relatively surprising is that Intel intends to start production of ccommercial chips using its 7 nm process already in 2021.

Intel’s 7 nm production technology had been in development independently from the 10 nm process and by a different crew, so this one is closer than one might think. The node is set to use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) with laser wavelength of 13.5 nm for select layers, so it will not heavily rely on multipatterning, a major source of problems with Intel’s 10 nm process. In fact, the use of EUV will simplify development of products, make it easier to produce them, and will likely shorten production cycle times too.

The first product to use Intel's 7 nm process technology will be Intel's Xe-architecture-based GP-GPU in 2021. The GPU will not only be made using Intel’s most advanced node, but will also us Intel’s Intel’s Embedded Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology as well as Foveros silicon stacking technique, which confirms that the product is not a monolithic design.

Speaking of non-monolithic designs, it is noteworthy that Intel considers its innovative chip packaging technologies no less important than its new nodes, so expect things like EMIB and Foveros to be a big part of Intel's future.

While Intel's first 7 nm product will be launched in 2021, Intel stresses that high-volume manufacturing (HVM) using the technology will begin in 2022 when the technology will be used not only for a server GPU, but also a server CPU. So, expect more 7 nm products three or four years down the road.

Late last year Intel announced a major plan to upgrade a number of its fabs for next-generation process technologies. Officially, Intel is equipping its Fab 42 in Arizona to make chips using its 7 nm fabrication process. Meanwhile, given the scope of Intel’s upgrade plan, which includes fabs in Oregon, Ireland, and Israel, it looks like the company might have other fabs ready for 7 nm by 2021 - 2022 timeframe.

Meanwhile, as Intel intends to refine all of its fabrication processes in the same manner as it did with its 14 nm node, expect Intel's 10 nm to co-exist with 7 nm for years.

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Source: Intel

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  • ZippZ - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    I don't expect to see 10nm high performance desktops for several reasons.
    1. 10nm notebook and 10nm server signals to me that 10nm doesn't hit high speeds.
    2. Intel only has one 10nm fab
    3. Rumored roadmaps have 14nm go out to 2021. Still no official word on 10nm desktop from Intel.
    I bet Intel will be limited to 10nm low core count server chips due to yields. Guess we'll know more when the 10nm notebook chips appear this year.
  • peevee - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    You have good points.

    "I bet Intel will be limited to 10nm low core count server chips due to yields."

    They will use multi-chip packages, just like AMD does with EPYC. And NUMA is a btch on software not optimized for it.

    The real question will it even reach 3GHz sustained or will be stuck around 2.
  • peevee - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    "10nm desktop sounds like 1st half 2020 not 2021"

    "10nm desktop sounds like" will not be available ever as it is not going to yield well (better than 14+++) on 5GHz at all.
  • brakdoo - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    Is this a launch like q4 18 for cascade lake or a real launch like cascade lake q2 19 (big datacenters received some product shipments earlier for mass deployment. Same for skylake-sp)?
  • HStewart - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    This is not cannon lake - but it revised
  • HStewart - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    I am an optimist, this shows that Intel is learning from it's past with 10nm mess up with Cannon Lake, and other things. They know what processes and products are failing. It is obvious that the Micron deal was working for them and invested in 28 billions into changes for the future and got rid the old stuff - even stuff like quark which I never truly understand why it was there.

    But intel has been hurt by bad perception issues that they are a dinosaur and no longer the leader but this bad reception comes from minor area of industry which is gamers on desktop which is actually the dying industry - mobile is where the future is going, ARM s major threat to Intel not AMD.

    Don't think Intel is stupid, with all this 10nm/7nm stuff, they know they had troubles with 10nm - and it would be stupid to think that they have not learn from it - 10nm is logical to come out on notebooks first because laptop and tablets are 80% plus of the market. and then servers and desktops.

    My thought 10nm is cannon lake with fixes and stability over last 2 years and 7nm is brand new process - 10nm process with cobalt was too aggressive.
  • eva02langley - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    "I am an optimist"

    Correction, you are wearing Intel goggles.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    No I just don't wear AMD dark shades that make you blind to seeing the future besides AMD propaganda. You have no idea how much an optimist, I am. I am not just talking about stupid cpu architexture.
  • brakdoo - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    No, you are just butthurt and make things up like: " because laptop and tablets are 80% plus of the market" (vs servers and desktops???)

    Where do you have that number from?
  • HStewart - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    I forgot exactly where it shown - but keep in mind if you look at Amazon / Newegg CPU's sales those numbers are primary almost 100% sales - because mobile sales are include mostly if not entirely with companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo ….

    But there are companies that do it - it not 100% accurate but just visit you local Best Buy and compare mobile laptop vs desktops ( not counting All in ones which is actually mostly mobile in design )

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