Monday, September 10th 2018

TSMC to Build Intel 14nm Processors and Chipsets

Try to wrap your head around Intel contracting TSMC to build some of its processors! With its own 14 nanometer silicon fabrication nodes under stress from manufacturing several generations of Core and Xeon processors simultaneously, leading to market shortages, Intel is looking to contract TSMC to manufacture some of its 14 nm products. Among these are certain models of its desktop processors, and several 300-series chipsets, including the H310, which are currently fabbed on Intel's last 22 nm node, that's probably being converted to 14 nm.

The TSMC contract appears to be moving faster than expected, with the Taiwanese fab eager to demonstrate its competence to Intel and secure future orders as the company is closer than ever in going fully or partly fabless. According to industry observers, Intel is staring at a 1:2 supply-demand ratio, for the countless chip it's building on 14 nm; which may have forced it to contract some of these chip designs to TSMC. Motherboard vendors expect Intel to sort out its supply issues by the end of 2018, with big help from TSMC.
Source: DigiTimes
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29 Comments on TSMC to Build Intel 14nm Processors and Chipsets

#1
champsilva
Hard to believe intel is going to trust those secrets to TSMC.

Well, chipsets is more easy to believe, but Xeon CPUs.
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#2
Assimilator
bta, try reading the linked article next time FFS. It does not dsay anything about TSMC producing Xeons, it says TSMC would be producing chipsets and lower-end desktop CPUs.
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#3
ppn
TSMC doesn't have 14nm, the options are 16, 10nm.
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#4
dwade
Intel CPUs selling like hot cakes.
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#5
Dante Uchiha
"ppn said:
TSMC doesn't have 14nm, the options are 16, 10nm.
I think that would cause disparity between the products.

TSMC 10nm processes are denser than Intel 14nm++, and TSMC 16nm is inferior.
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#6
StrayKAT
How about Intel just simplify their product line? It's just confusing.
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#7
remixedcat
ok, we are even more officially in bizarro world.

also TSMC had that ransomeware/malware ordeal, and now intel is going with them? even moar vulnerabilities! willintel keep their other stuff isolated or what? this is going to be a security nightmare for both parties.
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#8
yakk
Interesting to read this just as major Intel Partners like HPE are complaining on poor Xeon availability and are currently suggesting AMD Epyc as replacement. :roll:
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#9
R0H1T
"yakk said:
Interesting to read this just as major Intel Partners like HPE are complaining on poor Xeon availability and are currently suggesting AMD Epyc as replacement. :roll:
Are you also thinking what some of us are ;)
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#10
First Strike
So this shortage is really serious.
A few years ago Intel was hyper-worried that its 14nm would be in severe capacity excesses. Now it turns out 5 generations of 14nm has turned it into severe shortages instead.
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#11
Aldain
"dwade said:
Intel CPUs selling like hot cakes.
That is what you got from all this? LMFAO
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#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Me right now:


Intel's 14nm node should be the most mature in human history. Why are they having so many problems? Why are they outsourcing production? Only one logical conclusion: Intel's process tech is regressing. But how? Why?
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#13
Fouquin
"remixedcat said:
ok, we are even more officially in bizarro world.

also TSMC had that ransomeware/malware ordeal, and now intel is going with them? even moar vulnerabilities! willintel keep their other stuff isolated or what? this is going to be a security nightmare for both parties.
The malware was on some of the production equipment, it wasn't being baked into chips they were producing.
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#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
"FordGT90Concept said:
Me right now:


Intel's 14nm node should be the most mature in human history. Why are they having so many problems? Why are they outsourcing production? Only one logical conclusion: Intel's process tech is regressing. But how? Why?
I'd imagine it's plenty mature, and I read an argument that the planning's all shot to hell so they ended up having to make stuff on 14nm instead of 22nm because they were supposed to be on 10nm by now... But I know nowhere near enough about the foundry industry to know if it's even remotely correct.
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#15
cadaveca
My name is Dave
"FordGT90Concept said:
Intel's 14nm node should be the most mature in human history. Why are they having so many problems? Why are they outsourcing production? Only one logical conclusion: Intel's process tech is regressing. But how? Why?
Some things you've already been given answers for seem more realistic now, huh? It will even become more interesting when you see the exact models that this might affect.

Actually, this is a move to increase ASP.
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#16
hat
Enthusiast
Interesting that this news comes in the wake of the news that AMD is relying solely on TSMC to produce their chips. I wonder if this is a way for them to snuff out competition by stripping them of some of their production capacity...
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#17
First Strike
"FordGT90Concept said:
Me right now:


Intel's 14nm node should be the most mature in human history. Why are they having so many problems? Why are they outsourcing production? Only one logical conclusion: Intel's process tech is regressing. But how? Why?
This conclusion really LMAO, as you may have already found out. Is it THAT HARD to admit that the demand for Intel 14nm has skyrockted?
Truth is, 1. Demand is rising, like it or not. It's golden time for their sales department now, and they will probably have another record revenue this quater.2.They are stocking Whiskey Lakes for release. 3.They are sampling Cascade Lake-SP.
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#18
XiGMAKiD
Wow, 2018 is one crazy year for sure!

I wonder how good is the chip made by TSMC
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#19
Flanker
Pretty sure this isn't new? Didn't TSMC used to build Atoms?
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#20
Prima.Vera
"FordGT90Concept said:
Intel's process tech is regressing. But how? Why?
Not regressing. Stagnating. Reasons? Easy. The monopoly from the CPU business made them extremely lazy, also their dedicated RND budgets went to somewhere else apparently...
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#21
hat
Enthusiast
They've been having issues with 10nm. I don't think that has anything to do with their dominant position in the market, either. There's no reason they wouldn't want to move to a smaller process. In addition to making their products slightly better, it would also make them cheaper to produce, once the process is running properly, anyway. Smaller process also means smaller die size (given the same architecture) so they could get more chips per wafer. So yeah... no reason to not at least move on to a smaller process.
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#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
"Prima.Vera said:
Not regressing. Stagnating. Reasons? Easy. The monopoly from the CPU business made them extremely lazy, also their dedicated RND budgets went to somewhere else apparently...
They should have 14nm fabs to burn having been on that node for so long. Business isn't booming. They're losing market share to AMD. Intel is raising the prices on processors. Yes, 10nm is way behind schedule but that doesn't explain why they can't fulfill existing orders for products they've been shovelling since 2015. I can think of only one explanation: gross mismanagement. Seems like the board agrees seeing how Intel's last CEO "resigned" in June. We might be witnessing why he was canned now.
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#23
sergionography
Just the other day I was thinking why not intel liscense glofos 7nm process since their 10nm is broken. To my knowledge 7nm glofo was ready, just didnt have demand and money to deploy. Intel could've easily taken advantage of this situation either through licensing 7nm or committing to a large enough number of wafers.

"Aldain said:
That is what you got from all this? LMFAO
Well yes. In a way this is likely since AMD pushing competition and increased sales on both sides. What happened is; intel was forced to lower prices per a given performance tier, having to introduce 8 core mainstream chips at a much lower price point than in the past. This has become a problem because an 8 core chip is much larger than the 4cores or 6 cores they offered in the past. And with larger dies yield also decreases by a small margin. But in short, intel having their own fabs means they maintain as much capacity as needed for being efficient, rather than having much headroom like third party fabs do(since they always can expect new customers). But in short, now intel is using more wafers to build the same number of chips as before.
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#24
hat
Enthusiast
"FordGT90Concept said:
They should have 14nm fabs to burn having been on that node for so long. Business isn't booming. They're losing market share to AMD. Intel is raising the prices on processors. Yes, 10nm is way behind schedule but that doesn't explain why they can't fulfill existing orders for products they've been shovelling since 2015. I can think of only one explanation: gross mismanagement. Seems like the board agrees seeing how Intel's last CEO "resigned" in June. We might be witnessing why he was canned now.
I thought that guy was canned over sexual harassment?
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#25
remixedcat
"Fouquin said:
The malware was on some of the production equipment, it wasn't being baked into chips they were producing.
Still bad tho.
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