Wednesday, December 11th 2019

Intel's Process Roadmap Gets Updated with Plans to go Back to Two Year Cadence

During the IEDM event hosted by the IEEE organization, ASML's CEO, Martin van den Brink, took the stage to elaborate more on ASML's vision of the future of semiconductors. When talking about the future of semiconductors, Mr. Brink started talking about Intel and their vision for the future. Intel's slides were showing many things including backporting of IP to older processes and plan to go back to "tick-tock" two-year cadence to restore the previous confidence in Intel's manufacturing capabilities.

Perhaps one of the most interesting notes about the presentation is the fact that Intel is working hard to realize its plans of bringing back a two-year cadence of "tick-tock" process realization. That means that in the future, presumably after 10 nm debut problems are solved, Intel wants to do the old process and optimization tactics. A slide (shown below) titled "In Moore We Trust" is speaking a lot about Intel's future plans, showing few things in particular: Intel's upcoming 10 nm++ and 10 nm+++ nodes, and the possibility of backporting.
When it comes to 10 nm++ and 10 nm+++ nodes, Intel is displaying that they are already working on improved versions of 10 nm+ node used in Ice Lake chips so that new and improved versions of 10 nm node will be ready for higher frequencies and better performance. The current version of 10 nm+ node is not very capable frequency wise, as there is currently only one Ice Lake SKU that can reach 4 GHz, while current 14 nm products are capable of reaching 5 GHz with ease. These upcoming nodes are supposed to address this problem by providing faster transistors.

Additionally, backporting is now going to node manufacturing, not IP only anymore. So far Intel spoke of backporting as a means to deliver new IP built for 10 nm for example to older process like 14 nm if needed. However, the new slide shows the intention of Intel to apply backporting techniques to a semiconductor process. For example, 7 nm can get backported to 10 nm node in form of 10 nm+++ so that it still officially is 10 nm by Intel's standards, but features overall transistor improvements that were supposed to be released on 7 nm node.

Intel is also developing new nodes that are going to be released as far as ten years from now. Shown above is the 1.4 nm node, scheduled for release in 2029 when it will supposedly be launched. The 1.4 nm node is supposed to have a density of 1.6 billion transistors per square millimeter, which is equivalent to many of the early 14 nm Broadwell CPUs. It is unimaginable to think about such distant technologies now, plus, as the roadmap shows, all the information displayed is subject to change. Source: WikiChip
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33 Comments on Intel's Process Roadmap Gets Updated with Plans to go Back to Two Year Cadence

#1
laszlo
nice roadmap too bad is full with holes!
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#2
PanicLake
laszlo
nice roadmap too bad is full with wholes!
You mean... "you whisholes".
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#3
biffzinker
AleksandarK
So far Intel spoke of backporting as a means to deliver new IP built for 10 nm for example to older process like 14 nm if needed.
So the backporting of Rocket Lake (Willow Cove - New Arc since Sky Lake) to 14nm+++ (+) wasn't just a rumor after all?
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#4
Gungar
"Having a transistor that is just 12 atoms in diameter, 1.4 nm node"

I am cringing hard right now, TechPowerup doesn't even know that 1.4nm node is just a marketing name and not the real size of the transistors???????
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#5
Super XP
This is more like Intel desperation.
In the meantime, AMD is launching real processors lol
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#6
TheGuruStud
Anyone still in denial about their haplesness?
That's the most tarded roadmap ever conceived and Intel has released some doozies lol

It's an admittance of their node failures, current and future. They don't expect to hit any of these timelines.
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#7
bug
Gungar
"Having a transistor that is just 12 atoms in diameter, 1.4 nm node"

I am cringing hard right now, TechPowerup doesn't even know that 1.4nm node is just a marketing name and not the real size of the transistors???????
It's not the size of the whole transistor, but there will be features that will only take 1.4nm, so 12 atoms across.

That said, nice roadmap, can I buy one? No? *shocked, walks away*
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#8
Reaperxvii
Obviously most of us here have little faith in any intel road map at this point. This is more then likely something to just appease the stock holders and investors while Intel scrambles to stay relevant.

With that said intel really needs to get their crap together. While I doubt AMD will stagnate anytime soon as they have ALOT of growing to do to catch up to Intel. One company completely thrashing the other is never good for the consumer.

I do hope AMD's 4000 ryzen finally takee away the gaming crown from intel just so I can stop seeing "King of gaming" as about the only good thing for intel. Plus intel really needs to fix these vulnerabilitie issues that seem to pop up almost a new one monthly.
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#9
ppn
"Many broadwell"
More like 100 of them after all 14x14nm=196, and 1,4^1,4=1,96, 100 times smaller. well not exactly.. 16 Mtr and 1600Mtr/mm2.

I need a good job and forget about computers for a while and come back when this is ready.
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#10
Octavean
Even if Intel addresses all these issues they don't have a fix for the poor practices and hubris that put them in this position in the first place. The hare lost to the tortoise because of its overconfidence and complacency.

The fact that Intel has now cut the price of the new Cascade Lake-X 10000 series by about half strongly suggests there was never any justification for Intel's past pricing schemes. This means they were not operating in good faith with their customer base.
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#11
bug
Reaperxvii
Obviously most of us here have little faith in any intel road map at this point. This is more then likely something to just appease the stock holders and investors while Intel scrambles to stay relevant.
I don't think it's about whether we have faith in the roadmaps or not. The roadmap may be 100% accurate, but they're not products we can buy. Therefore, I treat them as the marketing material they are, read them fast and then move on. If I was to plan an upgrade today and somebody would say they have new parts coming out in the next 2-3 months, I might way for that. But what Intel (or anybody else) thinks will release in 2027 is meaningless for me today.
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#12
BigMack70
Do people actually believe nonsense like this? None of this will happen on this timeline. 10nm is still pretty close to being vaporware. Intel has nothing to offer now or in the near future so they're just trying to blow smoke to try and do as much damage control as possible for their stock price.

I have zero sympathy for them... They sat around with their thumbs up their butts doing absolutely nothing for 7 years when they had a technological lead over AMD, and now AMD has caught them with their pants down and there's nothing they can do. They brought this on themselves with their years of greedy, arrogant complacency.
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#13
Bones
I love it - "Easiest Path Design" when they can't design anything that works with the size nodes shown (Well, except 10nm) but definitely no easy way out of that node going foward!

Backport opportunity is just another escape hatch to find solid ground when their research efforts blow up in their face like it's been as of late.
Optimal cost (Profit) path they're still wishing for shown.
EUV and "New Features", "New Features", "New Features", ....... What new features?
Would be beyond sad to say that in...... 2025 right?

This looks like a thing taken from one of the boardroom meeting slideshow presentations and posted here.
I mean seriously, that's what it looks like.
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#14
DeeJay1001
No more Tik, tok, tok, tok, slander the competition, tok, tok.
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#15
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Super XP
This is more like Intel desperation.
In the meantime, AMD is launching real processors lol
Not sure of the desperation but it would seem to me more like Intel laziness.
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#16
Steevo
Gungar
"Having a transistor that is just 12 atoms in diameter, 1.4 nm node"

I am cringing hard right now, TechPowerup doesn't even know that 1.4nm node is just a marketing name and not the real size of the transistors???????
I am cringing for your post, 1.4nm is a description of a process to create metal layers in silicon just 12 atoms in diameter. If they say it's 1.4nm or say 12 atoms of copper transistor traces does it matter? The gate design is a byproduct of process size and other effects, at that size of process quantum mechanics and the electromotive force propogation speed have a larger affect on performance.

Smaller nodes give us smaller transistors that use less power to operate between on and off state.

Who doesn't understand that and claim to be an enthusiast? Plus it's probably a slightly edited PR sheet from Intel.

So maybe lay off the harsh sauce.
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#19
Penev91
Must be fake. I don't see 22nm anywhere on the roadmap.
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#21
Logoffon
DeeJay1001
No more Tik, tok, tok, tok, slander the competition, tok, tok.
It's tick and tock.
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#22
ppn
6 shrinks, each time 2x denser, 100 times denser than 14nm skylake. This is like 100х 8 core cpu and 100x GTX 2080 supers in a home pc instead just 1. Makes you wonder why do we even bother with what we have today.
Posted on Reply
#23
Gungar
bug
It's not the size of the whole transistor, but there will be features that will only take 1.4nm, so 12 atoms across.

That said, nice roadmap, can I buy one? No? *shocked, walks away*
No, its not, nothing in the 14nm Intel process is in 14nm and nothing in 7nm TSMC process is in 7nm (not even close xD)

Little correction : The fin width is 8nm (on intel 14nm) and 6nm (on TSMC 10 and 7nm) but we can extrapolate that on intel 1.4nm, the fin width won't be that small (and it's just the width anyway).

Steevo
I am cringing for your post, 1.4nm is a description of a process to create metal layers in silicon just 12 atoms in diameter. If they say it's 1.4nm or say 12 atoms of copper transistor traces does it matter? The gate design is a byproduct of process size and other effects, at that size of process quantum mechanics and the electromotive force propogation speed have a larger affect on performance.

Smaller nodes give us smaller transistors that use less power to operate between on and off state.

Who doesn't understand that and claim to be an enthusiast? Plus it's probably a slightly edited PR sheet from Intel.

So maybe lay off the harsh sauce.
I just read the source document, there is no talk about number of atoms, no talk about metal layers and no talk about copper transistors. So i guess you just made that up?

And i dont claim to be an enthusiast, i am one.

And i would really want to lay off the harsh sauce, but as you can see, you guys aren't helping me...
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#24
Metroid
this is only in paper, never to be followed, made to deceive and look good to investors.
Posted on Reply
#25
Steevo
Gungar
No, its not, nothing in the 14nm Intel process is in 14nm and nothing in 7nm TSMC process is in 7nm (not even close xD)

Little correction : The fin width is 8nm (on intel 14nm) and 6nm (on TSMC 10 and 7nm) but we can extrapolate that on intel 1.4nm, the fin width won't be that small (and it's just the width anyway).



I just read the source document, there is no talk about number of atoms, no talk about metal layers and no talk about copper transistors. So i guess you just made that up?

And i dont claim to be an enthusiast, i am one.

And i would really want to lay off the harsh sauce, but as you can see, you guys aren't helping me...
Nah, copper atoms have a radius of .128nm so at 1.4nm there will be approximately 12, as 1.4 / .128 = 10.9 plus when packed as a metallic crystal lattice plus the variation of etch in the traces means approximately 12 atoms wide traces.


I suppose I did make all of this up, all CPU transistors contain tiny people, trapped and forced to learn math..... It's a huge conspiracy.
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