Monday, October 14th 2019

Intel Scraps 10nm for Desktop, Brazen it Out with 14nm Skylake Till 2022?

In a shocking piece of news, Intel has reportedly scrapped plans to launch its 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture on the client desktop platform. The company will confine its 10 nm microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Tiger Lake" to only the mobile platform, while the desktop platform will see derivatives of "Skylake" hold Intel's fort under the year 2022! Intel gambles that with HyperThreading enabled across the board and increased clock-speeds, it can restore competitiveness with AMD's 7 nm "Zen 2" Ryzen processors with its "Comet Lake" silicon that offers core-counts of up to 10.

"Comet Lake" will be succeeded in 2021 by the 14 nm "Rocket Lake" silicon, which somehow combines a Gen12 iGPU with "Skylake" derived CPU cores, and possibly increased core-counts and clock speeds over "Comet Lake." It's only 2022 that Intel will ship out a truly new microarchitecture on the desktop platform, with "Meteor Lake." This chip will be built on Intel's swanky 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication node, and possibly integrate CPU cores more advanced than even "Willow Cove," possibly "Golden Cove."
The HardwareLuxx article making these explosive revelations attributes the sudden change in Intel's plans to the company not being able to scale clock-speeds of "Ice Lake" high enough to establish product leadership. It feels "Skylake," which has IPC parity with "Zen 2," has enough scalability and clock-speed headroom to stay competitive with AMD at high clock-speeds. The company will augment next-generation uncore (revamped memory controllers, support for PCIe gen 4.0, Gen12 iGPU, etc.), with "Skylake" CPU cores, over time. Other areas where Intel could grow its mainstream desktop silicon is cache rebalancing similar to its HEDT chips, and implementing the Mesh Interconnect to maintain low latencies as core-counts enter two-figures.

Interestingly, 10 nm "Ice Lake" remains on Intel's enterprise roadmap, where the company appears more desperate not to cede market-share to AMD, especially as businesses around the world set their 5G plans rolling, springing a cycle of hardware updates in the data-center. 2020 could see the introduction of Xeon Scalable processors based on 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture with "Sunny Cove" CPU cores. In 2021, the company will introduce the "Sapphire Rapids" Xeon processor with even more cores and larger I/O connectivity, spearheaded with PCI-Express gen 5.0.

Update Oct 15th: Intel has released a statement, denying these claims, read more here. Source: HardwareLuxx.de
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148 Comments on Intel Scraps 10nm for Desktop, Brazen it Out with 14nm Skylake Till 2022?

#2
phanbuey
I think everyone saw this coming. AMD Stock, here I come. :D
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#3
DeathtoGnomes
Rolls 2D6 ... "come on lucky 7, lucky 7...."
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#4
Raendor
Haha, oh wow. And here I was hoping to hold out a little and get 10nm cpu from intel to upgrade for the new console gen from my 6700k. I don’t want to buy into am4 as it’s almost dead too, so it’s very curious to see how hardware releases will play out next year alongside new ps/xbox release.
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#5
dicktracy
Intel can afford it and AMD needs the money. What’s not to like?
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#6
mashie
So what about 10nm for the servers? Is that also scrapped?
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#7
sepheronx
Raendor
Haha, oh wow. And here I was hoping to hold out a little and get 10nm cpu from intel to upgrade for the new console gen from my 6700k. I don’t want to buy into am4 as it’s almost dead too, so it’s very curious to see how hardware releases will play out next year alongside new ps/xbox release.
I don't see how AM4 is almost dead. What makes it almost dead?
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#8
Muser99
TheLostSwede
If it ain't broke...
Oh, right...
But is this the big issue, it is broken! There still no full Intel hardware fix for Spectre/Meltdown? The architecture is still vulnerable? And enabling multi-threading again makes this worse?
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#9
Dave65
phanbuey
I think everyone saw this coming. AMD Stock, here I come. :D
Done did it:)
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#10
Raendor
sepheronx
I don't see how AM4 is almost dead. What makes it almost dead?
well, it’s highly unlikely zen 3 will release on am4, and even so, it’s not expected to be any significant uplift over zen2. So amd will at best only match intel in gaming.
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#11
TheLostSwede
Raendor
Haha, oh wow. And here I was hoping to hold out a little and get 10nm cpu from intel to upgrade for the new console gen from my 6700k. I don’t want to buy into am4 as it’s almost dead too, so it’s very curious to see how hardware releases will play out next year alongside new ps/xbox release.
What do you mean, almost dead? There's a new CPU coming out next year. Beyond that, we only have rumours of a move to DDR5, but it's not impossible to do a memory controller that supports two types of memory, we've had that several times in the past. No-one really knows what AMD has planned.
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#12
Tomorrow
Yep told you so. My post from last week:

Tomorrow
Sorry to break it to you but next year we will only get 14nm++++ Comet Lake that goes up to 10c/20t at 5Ghz. Nothing too exciting.
10nm products will only come to laptops for the next few years due low core counts. 10nm will not be released on desktop before 2022 and may well be skipped alltogether if Intel's 7nm picks up. But considering 10nm woes i would not hold my breath on that.

DDR5 will come to servers first in 2021 and mainstream problably 2022. No word on PCI-E 5.0 but considering how costly it was to implement 4.0 on X570 with signal repeaters and many layer PCB's i don't expect quick progress on that front in mainstream. Plus there are no mainstream devices yet that fully utilize 4.0 bandwidth.

As for IPC increase Intel has quoted only up to 18% for Sunny Cove vs Core arch.

All in all AMD will continue to dominate desktop space for years to come and Intel will try to hold on to their mobile and server market shares by prioritizing them over desktop.
People can still buy Intel on desktop but they've effectively lost their performance advantage. Essentially only the 500$+ i9's will remain relevant for those willing to spend double as much to get that last 5% in certain workloads and for bragging rights. Already Ryzen is outselling Core roughly 4:1 at major retailers and this will only get worse for Intel.

Will Intel make a comeback? Sure but it will take years and when they do it will not be a knockout like Conroe was back in the day against Athlon.
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#13
TheLostSwede
mashie
So what about 10nm for the servers? Is that also scrapped?
No, see the source link.

Muser99
But is this the big issue, it is broken! There still no full Intel hardware fix for Spectre/Meltdown? The architecture is still vulnerable? And enabling multi-threading again makes this worse?
Sorry, it was a bit of a joke, considering all the issues Intel has had. It's not impossible that they'll fix all the known issues by the time this thing comes out.
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#14
Vya Domus
mashie
So what about 10nm for the servers? Is that also scrapped?
While on desktop their mindshare will still carry them for the next couple of years, on the server side of things this is starting to become something critical.

I can't see them being able to do anything without a new node. No matter what they'll do, discounts, price cuts, etc some will just need to buy the fastest thing out there and AMD seems to got it.
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#15
Rahnak
Raendor
I don’t want to buy into am4 as it’s almost dead too
By that logic, every Intel platform in the last decade or so has been DOA. :confused:
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#16
TheLostSwede
Raendor
well, it’s highly unlikely zen 3 will release on am4, and even so, it’s not expected to be any significant uplift over zen2. So amd will at best only match intel in gaming.
Sorry, what? Zen 3 will be AM4 with DDR4, so why is it highly unlikely?
Zen 3 is expected to be to Zen 2, what Zen 2 was to Zen 1/1+ in terms of performance increase.
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#17
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
phanbuey
I think everyone saw this coming. AMD Stock, here I come. :D
Buying now is probably a bad idea IMHO. It wasn't that long ago since I sold off my shares. I think AMD has hit a relative peak and the risk for more gain definitely didn't outweigh the improvement up to that point.
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#18
TheLostSwede
Aquinus
Buying now is probably a bad idea IMHO. It wasn't that long ago since I sold off my shares. I think AMD has hit a relative peak and the risk for more gain definitely didn't outweigh the improvement up to that point.
Uhm, they've dropped $6-7 in value over the past month...
They're still down about $4.50 from their peak valuation this year.
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#19
Hardware Geek
mashie
So what about 10nm for the servers? Is that also scrapped?
From the article: "2020 could see the introduction of Xeon Scalable processors based on 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture with "Sunny Cove" CPU cores."
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#20
Calmmo
big ooof, 2 years away from being 1 year away. Could be worse I suppose, like ARM trying to break into desktop PCs.. oh wait.
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#21
Hardware Geek
sepheronx
I don't see how AM4 is almost dead. What makes it almost dead?
It really depends on whether or not you think zen 3 will require a new socket, thereby ending upgradability on AM4 and TR4.
I don't think that will happen until zen 4, but with DDR5, PCIE 5, etc, I expect that to require a major upgrade and break socket compatibility.
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#22
Zareek
Wow... I hope AMD doesn't take this as a signal they can let off the gas now.
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#23
DuxCro
Pffffhahahhaha! This is embarrasing. So intel thinks of competing with AMD on 14nm until 2022? And AMD is switching to 7nm+ next year. By 2022 AMD will be on 5nm.
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#24
Tomgang
Alright that's it. Goodbye shintel, I'm going amd and ryzen 9 3950X.

If Intel stays on 14 NM until 2022. There are really not coming much existing cpu releases the coming two years from Intel to desktop then and I will not support intels "old tech" they used since 2014/2015. I'm tired of Intel reusing old tech and milk the same cow over and over again.

Maybe I will return to intel when they get there 7 nm out. But for now, it's goodbye. I'm joining team red.
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#25
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
TheLostSwede
Uhm, they've dropped $6-7 in value over the past month...
They're still down about $4.50 from their peak valuation this year.
I'm happy with my gain. I try not to worry about what could have been. :ohwell:
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