Intel seen struggling with subpar 10nm yields and further 7nm delays

Posted on Friday, Dec 18 2020 @ 11:09 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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A recent Susquehanna International Group call with tech writer Charlie Demerjian provides some background information about the issues Intel is facing right now. Usually, Demerjian is taken with a grain of salt but over the past years he seems to have been pretty accurate about Intel's problems. NotebookCheck goes over the highlights of the call's transcript over here.

Basically, if a lot of these things are accurate, Intel is in deep pain for at least the next couple of years. Yields of Cannon Lake, the first 10nm processors from Intel, were reportedly below 25 percent even with the integrated graphics part disabled. The new 10nm SuperFin process is a lot better -- but still reportedly only results in yields just over 50 percent. That's bad and significantly impacts capacity as well as profitability.

The upcoming Rocket Lake-S processors, which are still made on 14nm, are said to be bloated power hogs. Further delays are seen for the Ice Lake server processors and 7nm isn't looking healthy either.

An actual release schedule for 7nm is said to be unclear, it's reportedly significantly more delayed than the "6 to 12 months" that was initially claimed by Intel.

There's also talk about Intel outsourcing more production to Samsung or TSMC, a decision may be made in Q1 2021. A sale of Intel's fabs, as some have been suggesting, seems unlikely. Furthermore, it's rumored that Intel is still looking for a new CEO to replace Bob Swan.

Lastly, the launch of the future 10nm Alder Lake-S desktop processor may be muted as Intel may lack the capacity to produce it in high volume.

H/T: TechPowerUp

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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