Updated on Nov.1 at 3:27 p.m. EST: Intel has reached out to the publication with a clarification on the release date. While its 10nm desktop chips are in the works, it has not yet announced a specific timing for its desktop products.
TORONTO – Intel will be producing 10nm desktop processors, and they’ll be here early next year, IT World Canada has learned.
Intel Canada Country Manager Denis Gaudreault revealed the news to the publication during the Intel Experience Canada 2019 event Oct. 29.
“As I said this morning, we learned of the 10th-gen for mobile [processors], which is based on 10nm. So early next year, that’s where the desktop version of that will come.”
Gaudreault didn’t provide specifics aside from confirming 10nm desktop parts.
Earlier last week, U.S. tech publication Tom’s Hardware also received confirmation from Intel that 10nm desktop components are on track, but noted that Intel could be alluding to anything between a desktop or server platform.
Since the announcement of Intel’s 10nm “Ice Lake” mobile processors, customers have been waiting with bated breath for the semiconductor company to announce its desktop variants. Intel’s 10nm transistors are smaller, which enables higher densities per-square-area, higher performance, and lower power consumption. Commercial and consumer segments alike scouted wide-eyed to see how these improvements would translate into their HEDT and commercial products.
Experts and the tech community have debated on the possibility of Intel releasing desktop parts built on its 10nm fabrication process. Last week, Intel announced that its 7nm and 5nm transistors are on schedule, with 7nm chips set to arrive in 2021. That affords only a year for 10nm chips to shine. In addition, industry observers have noticed that 10nm desktop processors were absent from Intel’s roadmap.
“Right now we’re building 10 nanometer so the ramp is going very well. We’re happy with the yield we’re having. We’re going full speed with that. We have two fabs and we’re looking to turn on third one,” said Gaudreault.
Gaudreault also provided context on the 10nm product delay.
“When we’re planning 22nm, to 14nm, then more planning for the 10nm so the plan, I think we…went too aggressively on designing the density of the architectures…which add the complexity of it and that didn’t work that well. So we are to step back. And as you know, that takes months and years to do.”
Intel’s dormant HEDT segment gave AMD, its foremost competitor, breathing room to refine its own technologies. Yesterday, AMD reported a nine per cent growth year over year in its Q3 earnings report. AMD CEO Lisa Su said the high revenue was padded by increased AMD Ryzen and Epyc processor sales.
Unlike Intel, however, AMD does not own any semiconductor fabrication plants and instead leans on the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). TSMC has had a node edge since last year. Currently, it’s producing chip wafers using 7nm transistors for its customers.
When asked whether Intel will return to making big architectural changes at every major node shrink, Gaudreault emphasized that Intel will be better managing its expectations.
“So what we’re looking at the 10nm that we have today, and moving forward with 7nm and 5nm that are in planning right now…[is] to go a bit less complex and more regular, like what we used to have every two or two and a half years for a new node process…taking more time and [instead of] going super aggressively.”