Friday, January 22nd 2021

Intel Has Fixed its 7 nm Node, But Outsourcing is Still Going to Happen

Intel has today reported its Q4 2020 earnings disclosing full-year revenue with the current CEO Bob Swan, upcoming new CEO Pat Gelsinger, and Omar Ishrak, Chairman of Intel's board. During the call, company officials have talked about Intel's earnings and most importantly, addressing the current problems about the company's manufacturing part - semiconductor foundries. Incoming Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, has talked about the state of the 7 nm node, giving shareholders reassurance and a will to remain in such a position. He has made an argument that he has personally reviewed the progress of the "health and recovery of the 7 nm program."

The 7 nm node has been originally delayed by a full year amid the expectations, and as with the 10 nm node, we have believed that it is going to experience similar issues. However, the incoming CEO has reassured everyone that it is very much improving. The new 7 nm node is on track for 2023 delivery, when Intel is expected to compete with the 3 nm node of TSMC. Firstly, Intel will make a debut of the 7 nm node with client processors scheduled for 1H 2023 arrival, with data center models following that. The company leads have confirmed that Intel will stay true to its internal manufacturing, but have stressed that there will still be a need for some outsourcing to happen.
Source: Tom's Hardware
Add your own comment

65 Comments on Intel Has Fixed its 7 nm Node, But Outsourcing is Still Going to Happen

#1
TheLostSwede
Uhm, hasn't the 7nm node been delayed a lot more than just a year by now?
Posted on Reply
#2
chris.london
Intel fixed its 7nm node yet the first 7nm processors won't be launched for at least 2 more years. This is the weirdest fix ever. (NB back in 2019 Intel's 7nm processors were also only 2 years away.)
Posted on Reply
#4
xtreemchaos
havnt we been here before ?. smoke n mirrors me thinks :) . fingers crossed anyways.
Posted on Reply
#5
john_
I don't see a "have fixed" somewhere in the article or in news. What we understand from Intel's comments, is that there are no delays, at least nothing bad happened those last 3 months.
Posted on Reply
#6
mtcn77
You have to consider 7nm not only delivers a new node, but also the next processes Intel foundries will develop on. When you lose one, you lose the other. You cannot adopt another foundry without banishing your own.
This is good news. Production will continue. Intel has to give the right signals in order to continue as an independent manufacturer.
Posted on Reply
#7
bug
I feel the lack of fabs goes far beyond Intel. Wherever you look, it seems there's only shortages and inflated prices :(
Of course, Intel just happens to have hit a low within an industry-wide low, which doesn't really help.
Posted on Reply
#8
TheLostSwede
bugI feel the lack of fabs goes far beyond Intel. Wherever you look, it seems there's only shortages and inflated prices :(
Of course, Intel just happens to have hit a low within an industry-wide low, which doesn't really help.
There are plenty fabs, the issue is that most of those fabs are not producing at small enough nodes, nor do they use large enough wafers to produce the kinds of chips that there is a shortage of.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants
Number of open fabs currently listed here: 529
Posted on Reply
#9
bug
TheLostSwedeThere are plenty fabs, the issue is that most of those fabs are not producing at small enough nodes, nor do they use large enough wafers to produce the kinds of chips that there is a shortage of.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants
Yes, that's what I meant. I know "old" fabs stick around for a while because not everything needs to be built on cutting-edge nodes.
Tbh, I'm not even sure if there are too few cutting edge fabs available or demand has just soared. Either way, it still sucks for end-users.

Edit; Going over that list, I didn't realize there are so many fabs states-side. Also, where does Taiwan put all those fabs? Do they expand Dutch-style? :P
Posted on Reply
#10
Verpal
TheLostSwedeThere are plenty fabs, the issue is that most of those fabs are not producing at small enough nodes, nor do they use large enough wafers to produce the kinds of chips that there is a shortage of.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants
If only there is a way to easily standardize and make design more portable between fabrication node, I am sure plenty of people and AIB willing to take on Ampere/Navi fabricated on Intel 14nm, Glofo 12nm or, god forbid, some ancient 28nm node only suitable for a 3050(ti), considering the persistent shortage and prices.
Posted on Reply
#11
TheLostSwede
VerpalIf only there is a way to easily standardize and make design more portable between fabrication node, I am sure plenty of people and AIB willing to take on Ampere/Navi fabricated on Intel 14nm, Glofo 12nm or, god forbid, some ancient 28nm node only suitable for a 3050(ti), considering the persistent shortage and prices.
Sorry, but that's impossible. You can't jump node sizes like that without re-doing the entire chip layout.
Posted on Reply
#12
mtcn77
TheLostSwedeSorry, but that's impossible. You can't jump node sizes like that without re-doing the entire chip layout.
That's what I tried deliberating, without a present node, there is no development for a future node. It is done, the costs are too high to start over.
Posted on Reply
#13
LemmingOverlord
I think people should realise that there is a serious mis-reporting issue going on at Intel, where someone down the line is feeding top management some serious bullshit and then things derail. Gelsinger might've read a report about the 7nm health and recovery, but to what extent is this not a totally bogus report?
Posted on Reply
#14
Slizzo
LemmingOverlordI think people should realise that there is a serious mis-reporting issue going on at Intel, where someone down the line is feeding top management some serious bullshit and then things derail. Gelsinger might've read a report about the 7nm health and recovery, but to what extent is this not a totally bogus report?
Well, Murthy was kicked to the curb, so they're probably getting reliable information again, fortunately.
Posted on Reply
#15
Flanker
I totally believe you, Intel :D
Posted on Reply
#17
TheLostSwede
ThrashZoneHi,
Code name lavalake.
You sure it's not Sunlake?
Posted on Reply
#18
Arc1t3ct

[URL='https://www.techpowerup.com/277579/intel-has-fixed-its-7-nm-node-but-outsourcing-is-still-going-to-happen']Intel Has Fixed its 7 nm Node[/URL]

Nope...
Posted on Reply
#19
Steevo
Setting up the new blood for delayed failure, but at least giving them time to fail.

Also very misleading title, Intel has NOT fixed their 7nm nde as if there were a power switch somewhere that someone forgot to turn on, its more of, they are promising to have their node operational if not profitable by 2023
Posted on Reply
#20
mtcn77
Steevothey are promising to have their node operational if not profitable by 2023.
They are essentially the same thing, a process develops as it is scaled.
Posted on Reply
#21
Luminescent
Isn't it strange that almost everybody can make 7nm for some time but Intel, well, everybody meaning Samsung and TSMC.
Maybe Intel wanted to buy back some shares and they couldn't do that at a reasonable price so they keept stalling with the " we can't make 7/10nm " and eventually or already bought some shares back.
Posted on Reply
#22
bug
LuminescentIsn't it strange that almost everybody can make 7nm for some time but Intel, well, everybody meaning Samsung and TSMC.
Maybe Intel wanted to buy back some shares and they couldn't do that at a reasonable price so they keept stalling with the " we can't make 7/10nm " and eventually or already bought some shares back.
It would be strange if 7nm meant the same for everyone. As it is, it's not strange at all.
Posted on Reply
#23
Luminescent
That's why i said "we can't make 7/10nm", i know about the density and all that.
But it's strange they can't make anything close to what Samsung and TSMC makes, even if they lowered the density.
This could be just bull...it, biggest semiconductor company in the world stuck at the same node for 6 years, no progress in 6 years!
Posted on Reply
#25
RandallFlagg
LuminescentThat's why i said "we can't make 7/10nm", i know about the density and all that.
But it's strange they can't make anything close to what Samsung and TSMC makes, even if they lowered the density.
This could be just bull...it, biggest semiconductor company in the world stuck at the same node for 6 years, no progress in 6 years!
Intel 10nm is equivalent to TSMC 7nm and is much better than Samsung 8nm. Intel has been making 10nm for over a year now and and at this point I would bet that there are a lot more x86 Intel 10nm in people's possession than there are x86 TSMC 7nm (AMD). So no, they haven't been on the same node for 6 years.

Intel makes volume that at least right now, TSMC and Samsung can't match. If you're not aware, about half of TSMCs nodes are larger than 12nm while Samsung's 8nm is only 60% the density of Intel 10nm / TSMC 7nm.

Intel 7nm is expected to be not just equivalent to TSMC 5nm, but about 20% more dense. There are no AMD 5nm chips out and reportedly Apple has 80% of TSMCs 5nm capacity for 2021 booked up. That leaves 20% for *everyone else*.

AMD will have to compete for that 20% of 5nm capacity in 2021 with Broadcom, Qualcomm, and potentially Intel - among others I'm sure.

This effectively means you won't see an x86 5nm until 2022. It's actually quite likely that, outside of maybe a low volume paper launch, the first one to actually supply the x86 market with meaningful volume of 200MT/mm "Intel 7nm / TSMC 5nm" chips will be - Intel.

Edit: I should throw in, the real threat to Intel right now is probably Apple. I said x86 for a reason. Apple is clearly well supplied with 5nm M1 and A14. AMD is basically going to be getting scraps of what's left from TSMCs capacity on 5nm for at least another year, so regardless of their performance they most likely just won't have much product to sell. Based on Gelsinger's comments, he seems quite aware that Apple is the real threat.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment