Published: Sun, May 12, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Intel roadmap pledges 7nm by 2021

Intel roadmap pledges 7nm by 2021

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). That product will come on the heels of Intel's first discrete GPU that comes in 2020. The company is expecting around 20% boost in performance per watt, and the extreme ultraviolet lithography required to create it should be useful for several generations of small processes.

It will start shipping its 10nm Ice Lake platform in June, with OEMs shipping products in time for the holidays this year and server products in 2020.

According to Intel, Ice Lake CPUs will 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".

The company has also revealed that it will use its Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) and 3D Foveros technologies for the Xe-based Graphics Architecture. Renduchintala shared some slides that showed Intel's intent to ship 10nm Ice Lake client processors this June and another key slide showed the roadmap for transitioning from 10nm to 7nm. On the heels of Intel's first discrete GPU coming in 2020, the 7nm general goal GPU is expected to launch in 2021. Intel's new GP-GPU design would be powering the exascale Aurora supercomputer.

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During the company's investor meeting on Wednesday, newly appointed chief executive Bob Swan said that the company has begun planning for the 7nm manufacturing generation as part of a strategy to regain manufacturing process leadership. Swan acknowledged that Intel's fabs were supply-constrained leading into the first half of the year.

Intel announced the new Sunny Cove microarchitecture-based 10nm Ice Lake processor at this year's CES. 14nm is going to be around for a while but 10nm will be phased in starting this year, followed by 7nm in 2021- assuming no future problems arise. Furthermore, we can expect to see 2 times graphics performance increases, and 2 times reduction in printed-circuit-board (PCB) area, which will enable OEMs to push the boat out further with thin and light form factor designs.

"We believe in an expanded market opportunity we can play a bigger role in the success of our customers", Swan said.

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