Intel promises 10nm in June 2019 and 7nm with EUV in 2021

Posted on Thursday, May 09 2019 @ 10:17:26 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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At its annual investor meeting, Intel promised its first high-volume 10nm processor will ship in June 2019. Furthermore, the company stated that it plans to ship its first 7nm products in 2021. The first 10nm product will be Ice Lake and the first 7nm chip will be a datacenter GPU based on the Intel Xe architecture. Intel's engineering chief said 7nm with EUV delivers twice the scaling, about 20 percent higher performance per Watt, and a four time reduction in design rule complexity versus 10nm. Intel's current roadmap indicates 10nm+ or 2020 and 10nm++ for 2021, as well as 7nm+ for 2022 and 7nm++ for 2023, with a new and smaller node to follow after that.

Intel also mentioned the 10nm "Lakefield", a hybrid CPU with Foveros 3D chip stacking technology, is still on track for 2019, and that the 10nm Tiger Lake is slated for 2020. Tiger Lake will feature a new "Willow Cove" CPU core architecture in combination with Intel Xe based integrated graphics. Expect a big step up in Intel's integrated graphics performance, the chip giant says the Xe iGPU will offer four times the performance of its Gen 9.5 integrated graphics.
Today, Wall Street analysts are gathered at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara for the company's 2019 Investor Meeting, which features executive keynotes by Intel CEO Bob Swan and business unit leaders. At the meeting, Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel's chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group, announced that Intel will start shipping its volume 10nm client processor in June and shared first details on the company's 7nm process technology. Renduchintala said Intel has redefined its product innovation model for the data-centric era of computing, which "requires workload-optimized platforms and effortless customer and developer innovation." He shared expected performance gains resulting from a combination of technical innovations across six pillars – process and packaging, architecture, memory, interconnect, security and software – giving insight into the design and engineering model steering the company's product development.

"While process and CPU leadership remain fundamentally important, an extraordinary rate of innovation is required across a combination of foundational building blocks that also include architecture, memory, interconnect, security and software, to take full advantage of the opportunities created by the explosion of data," Renduchintala said. "Only Intel has the R&D, talent, world-class portfolio of technologies and intellectual property to deliver leadership products across the breadth of architectures and workloads required to meet the demands of the expanding data-centric market."

10nm Process Technology: Intel's first volume 10nm processor, a mobile PC platform code-named "Ice Lake," will begin shipping in June. The Ice Lake platform will take full advantage of 10nm along with architecture innovations. It is expected to deliver approximately 3 times faster wireless speeds, 2 times faster video transcode speeds, 2 times faster graphics performance, and 2.5 to 3 times faster artificial intelligence (AI) performance over previous generation products. As announced, Ice Lake-based devices from Intel OEM partners will be on shelves for the 2019 holiday season. Intel also plans to launch multiple 10nm products across the portfolio through 2019 and 2020, including additional CPUs for client and server, the Intel® Agilex™ family of FPGAs, the Intel® Nervana™ NNP-I (AI inference processor), a general-purpose GPU and the "Snow Ridge" 5G-ready network system-on-chip (SOC).

Building on a model proven with 14nm that included optimizations in 14+ nm and 14++ nm, the company 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 plans to effectively deliver performance and scaling at the beginning of a node, plus another performance improvement within the node through multiple intra-node optimizations within the technology generation.

7nm Status: Renduchintala provided first updates on Intel's 7nm process technology that will deliver 2 times scaling and is expected to provide approximately 20 percent increase in performance per watt with a 4 times reduction in design rule complexity. It will mark the company's first commercial use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, a technology that will help drive scaling for multiple node generations.

The lead 7nm product is expected to be an Intel Xe architecture-based, general-purpose GPU for data center AI and high-performance computing. It will embody a heterogeneous approach to product construction using advanced packaging technology. On the heels of Intel's first discrete GPU coming in 2020, the 7nm general purpose GPU is expected to launch in 2021.

Heterogeneous Integration for Data-Centric Era: Renduchintala previewed new chip designs that leverage advanced 2D and 3D packaging technology to integrate multiple intellectual property (IP), each on its own optimized process technology, into a single package. The heterogeneous approach allows new process technologies to be leveraged earlier by interconnecting multiple smaller chiplets, and larger platforms to be built with unprecedented levels of performance when compared to non-monolithic alternatives.

Renduchintala unveiled the performance gains that resulted from innovative development of the client platform code-named "Lakefield". The approach is symbolic of the strategic shift in the company's design and engineering model that underpins Intel's future product roadmaps. To meet customer specifications, a breadth of technical innovations including a hybrid CPU architecture and Foveros 3D packaging technology were used to meet always-on, always-connected and form-factor requirements while simultaneously delivering to power and performance targets. Lakefield is projected to deliver approximately 10 times SOC standby power improvement and 1.5 to 2 times active SOC power improvement relative to 14nm predecessors, 2 times graphics performance increases2, and 2 times reduction in printed-circuit-board (PCB) area, enabling OEMs to have more flexibility for thin and light form factor designs.