Intel largely skipping 10nm desktop CPUs to jump straight to 7nm in 2022?

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 15 2019 @ 08:45 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Yesterday, German tech site Hardwareluxx reported that Intel would skip 10nm for the desktop platform and jump straight to 7nm in 2022. The site said Intel's plan would be to stick with 14nm variants until 2022, whereas the laptop market would receive 10nm CPUs.

According to the site, Intel cancelled the 10nm Tiger Lake-S and 10nm Alder Lake generations and now has a 7nm Meteor Lake on its roadmap for a 2022 introduction.

If the rumor is accurate, we'll see the Comet Lake-S in the 2019/2020 timeframe, this is a 14nm chip with up to ten cores and Gen9.5 integrated graphics. The next step for the desktop market would be the introduction of the Rocket Lake-S in 2021, yet another 14nm Skylake derivative but this time with Gen12 (Xe-based) integrated graphics.

Overall, if this is all true, this is not very promising for the desktop market and would put Intel in a pretty bad spot versus AMD. The 10nm Ice Lake processors are heading to the laptop market right now and there's no evidence of any 10nm Ice Lake-S or 10nm Tiger Lake-S CPUs for the desktop market.

Tom's Hardware asked Intel for a comment and got a reply. The chip giant claims they "continue to make great progress on 10nm, and [the] current roadmap of 10nm products includes desktop." Intel further clarified that "10nm products" indeed means "desktop CPUs". Interestingly, the statement from Intel doesn't entirely contradict the news from Hardwareluxx. It's possible that Intel has a 10nm desktop CPU on its roadmap, like a NUC product or a HEDT product, but not a 10nm architecture for the masses.

Intel has been struggling with 10nm for many years. The first 10nm products were supposed to hit the market many years ago but after all the delays the company is still stuck with enhancements of Skylake, the 14nm processor architecture that it introduced in 2015. The company has enhanced its 14nm node every year and one of the going theories is that the yields of 10nm don't compare favorably for high-performance chips.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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