Intel’s process node update
In the previous part of this series, we saw that Intel (INTC) launched it ninth-generation Core processors even though it’s facing yield issues on its 10 nm (nanometer) node. The ninth-generation Core processors are built on the 14 nm++ process node, making it the fifth processor generation being launched on the 14 nm node.
Intel has already delayed the launch of its 10 nm products from the 2016 holiday season to the 2019 holiday season, allowing rivals Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (or TSMC) (TSM) and Samsung (SSNLF) to go ahead of it in terms of manufacturing technology. These rivals are already manufacturing products on the 7 nm node. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is manufacturing its 7 nm Vega server GPU (graphics processing unit) and 7 nm EPYC server CPUs on TSMC’s 7 nm node. These products are due to launch by the end of 2018 and in early 2019.
AMD and Intel
With the 7 nm node, AMD has tweaked its strategy and is bringing server CPUs first, which could be followed by client CPUs. On the other hand, Intel could launch its client CPUs first and then server CPUs, although the gap between the two launches would be short due to delays in the 10 nm node.
What that means is that the market could see AMD’s 7 nm server CPUs in early 2019 and Intel’s 10 nm server CPUs in late 2019 or early 2020 if there are no more delays in the 10 nm products. Even though Intel claims its 10 nm technology is more advanced than TSMC’s 7 nm technology, the delay in the 10 nm node has reduced the technology gap.
TSMC’s 7 nm node is more advanced than Intel’s existing 14 nm++ node, which would put AMD one year ahead of Intel in terms of manufacturing node. This gap would only widen if Intel’s future node shrink faces delays while TSMC and Samsung move ahead in future nodes.
Next, we’ll see what Intel’s 10 nm node means to investors.
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