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posted by martyb on Friday September 21 2018, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the bigger-is-better...right? dept.

Intel Tock-Ticks Chipsets Back to 22nm

We've confirmed through multiple sources that Intel is fabbing its new H310C chipset on its 22nm process. That means the chip-making giant has taken a step back to an older process for the H310C chipset as it struggles with its ongoing shortage of 14nm processors. Contrary to recent reports, our sources confirmed Intel manufactures these chips and not TSMC (which has been reported in recent weeks), though that could be subject to change in the future.

The shift in Intel's strategy comes as the company struggles with the fallout from its chronically delayed 10nm process. Now the company is dealing with an increasingly loud chorus of reports that Intel's 14nm shortage is now impacting its server, desktop and mobile chips.

[...] Intel typically produces chipsets on a larger node than its current-gen processors, but the delayed 10nm production has found both chipsets and chips on the same 14nm node, creating a manufacturing bottleneck as the company experiences record demand for 14nm processors.

Related: Intel's "Tick-Tock" Strategy Stalls, 10nm Chips Delayed
Intel's First 8th Generation Processors Are Just Updated 7th Generation Chips
Intel Delays Mass Production Of 10 nm CPUs To 2019

Original Submission

Related Stories

Intel's "Tick-Tock" Strategy Stalls, 10nm Chips Delayed 37 comments

Intel's "Tick-Tock" strategy of micro-architectural changes followed by die shrinks has officially stalled. Although Haswell and Broadwell chips have experienced delays, and Broadwell desktop chips have been overshadowed by Skylake, delays in introducing 10nm process node chips have resulted in Intel's famously optimistic roadmap missing its targets by about a whole year. 10nm Cannonlake chips were set to begin volume production in late 2016, but are now scheduled for the second half of 2017. In its place, a third generation of 14nm chips named "Kaby Lake" will be launched. It is unclear what improvements Kaby Lake will bring over Skylake.

Intel will not be relying on the long-delayed extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to make 10nm chips. The company's revenues for the last quarter were better than expected, despite the decline of the PC market. Intel's CEO revealed the stopgap 14nm generation at the Q2 2015 earnings call:

"The lithography is continuing to get more difficult as you try and scale and the number of multi-pattern steps you have to do is increasing," [Intel CEO Brian Krzanich] said, adding, "This is the longest period of time without a lithography node change."

[...] But Krzanich seemed confident that letting up on the gas, at least for now, is the right move – with the understanding that Intel will aim to get back onto its customary two-year cycle as soon as possible. "Our customers said, 'Look, we really want you to be predictable. That's as important as getting to that leading edge'," Krzanich said during Wednesday's earnings call. "We chose to actually just go ahead and insert – since nothing else had changed – insert this third wave [with Kaby Lake]. When we go from 10-nanometer to 7-nanometer, it will be another set of parameters that we'll reevaluate this."

Intel Roadmap
Year   Old   New
2014   14nm Broadwell   14nm Broadwell
2015   14nm Skylake   14nm Skylake
2016   10nm Cannonlake   14nm Kaby Lake
2017   10nm "Tock"   10nm Cannonlake
2018   N/A   10nm "Tock"

Original Submission

Intel's First 8th Generation Processors Are Just Updated 7th Generation Chips 13 comments

The first "8th generation" Intel Core processors roll out today: a quartet of 15W U-series mobile processors. Prior generation U-series parts have had two cores, four threads; these new chips double that to four cores and eight threads. They also bump up the maximum clock speed to as much as 4.2GHz, though the base clock speed is sharply down at 1.9GHz for the top end part (compared to the 7th generation's 2.8GHz). But beyond those changes, there's little to say about the new chips, because in a lot of ways, the new chips aren't really new.

Although Intel is calling these parts "8th generation," their architecture, both for their CPU and their integrated GPU, is the same as "7th generation" Kaby Lake. In fact, Intel calls the architecture of these chips "Kaby Lake refresh." Kaby Lake was itself a minor update on Skylake, adding an improved GPU (with, for example, hardware-accelerated support for 4K H.265 video) and a clock speed bump. The new chips continue to be built on Intel's "14nm+" manufacturing process, albeit a somewhat refined one.

Source: Ars Technica

takyon: Also at AnandTech. Where's 14nm++ Coffee Lake?

In the past we are used to a new numbered generation to come with a new core microarchitecture design. But this time Intel is improving a core design, calling it a refresh, and only releasing a few processors for the mobile family. We expect that Intel's 8th Generation will eventually contain three core designs of product on three different process design nodes: the launch today is Kaby Lake Refresh on 14+, and in the future we will see Coffee Lake on 14++ become part of the 8th Gen, as well as Cannon Lake on 10nm.

[...] So when is Coffee Lake on 14++ (or Cannon Lake) coming? Intel only stated that other members of the 8th Generation family (which contains Kaby Lake Refresh, Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake) are coming later this year. Desktop will come in the autumn, and additional products for enterprise, workstation and enthusiast notebooks will also happen. As for today's 8th Generation U-series announcement, Intel tells us that we should start seeing laptops using the new CPUs hit the market in September.

Original Submission

Intel Delays Mass Production Of 10 nm CPUs To 2019 31 comments

Intel on Thursday announced that it would delay mass production of its 10 nm processors from 2018 to 2019 due to yield issues. The company has claimed to be shipping some of its 10 nm chips in small volumes right now, but due to cost reasons the firm does not intend to initiate their high-volume manufacturing (HVM) at this time. Intel executives also stated that they are confident of their product roadmap and intend to launch Whiskey Lake and Cascade Lake products later this year.

[...] Intel blames a very high transistor density and consequent heavy use of multipatterning for low yields. Brian Krzanich has said that in certain cases the company needs to use quad (4x), penta (5x), or hexa (6x) patterning for select features as they need to expose the wafer up to six times to "draw" one feature. This not only lengthens Intel's manufacturing cycle (which by definition rises costs) and the number of masks it uses, but also has an effect on yields.

Intel's 10 nm fabrication technology relies solely on deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography with lasers operating on a 193 nm wavelength at this time. The company's 7 nm manufacturing process will use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography with laser wavelength of 13.5 nm for select layers, eliminating use of extreme multipatterning for certain metal layers. As it appears, right now Intel executives do not consider EUV technology ready for prime time in 2019, so the company's engineers have to polish off the last DUV-only process (again) rather than jump straight to 7 nm.

The delay means another generation of "14nm" products:

Intel Releases Open Letter in Attempt to Address Shortage of "14nm" Processors and "10nm" Delays 17 comments

Intel Issues Update on 14nm Shortage, Invests $1B Into Fab Sites (Update)

Intel's CFO and interim CEO Bob Swan penned an open letter to its customers and partners today outlining the steps it is taking to address a persistent and worsening shortage of 14nm processors.

[...] The shortage impacts nearly every aspect of Intel's business, from desktops to laptops, servers and even chipsets, so Intel is making the sound business decision to prioritize high-margin products. The firm has also expanded its testing capacity by diverting some work to a facility in Vietnam.

[...] Intel's statement also assures us that processors built on its 10nm fabrication will arrive in volume in 2019. Intel had previously stated that 10nm processors would be available in 2019, but hadn't made the distinction that they would arrive in volume. That's a positive sign, as the oft-delayed 10nm production is surely a contributing factor to the shortage. Intel also cites the booming desktop PC market, which has outstripped the company's original estimates earlier this year, as a catalyst.

In either case, Intel concedes that "supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly in the entry-level of the PC market" but doesn't provide a firm timeline for when the processors will become fully available. Intel's letter also touts its $1 billion investment in 14nm fabs this year, but half of that capital expenditure was scheduled prior to its first public acknowledgement of the shortage. Given Intel's foresight into the production challenges, the prior $500 million investment was likely in response to the increases in demand and looming production shortfall.

Previously: Intel Migrates New Chipsets to "22nm" Node From "14nm"

Related: Intel's "Tick-Tock" Strategy Stalls, 10nm Chips Delayed
Intel's First 8th Generation Processors Are Just Updated 7th Generation Chips
Intel Delays Mass Production Of 10 nm CPUs To 2019

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday September 21 2018, @02:35AM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday September 21 2018, @02:35AM (#737943)

    Again. 10 years ago AMD was knocking on Intel's door with power efficiency, and it looks like this might be happening again but from every sub 14nm foundry in the world that Intel doesn't control (which is, virtually all of them.)

    Seems like a good time for a long-term short-play on INTC.

    Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Friday September 21 2018, @04:29AM (1 child)

      by edIII (791) on Friday September 21 2018, @04:29AM (#737970)

      I'm not personally a big fan of either AMD or Intel. My question is what nm could a fully open source open hardware model produce? Assuming we could reasonably create a maker of some kind capable of creating the chips.

      For security reasons I've been increasingly looking toward binary/blob free offering on the market, and the nm process just isn't that much of a deal breaker. At least not until you get to mobile considerations.

      What would be the royalty free nm process that we could all use?

      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday September 21 2018, @02:37PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday September 21 2018, @02:37PM (#738139)

        Everything is negotiable - the price of advanced foundries are in Billions, so royalties are just a way of financing the investment.

        If you've got the cash up front, you can purchase somebody's excess capacity without a licensing component, but if you go not even too far back in tech (to foundry capacity you might be able to purchase for mere millions per year of facility maintenance costs) you'll be disappointed to find that a Raspberry-Pi capable chipset might draw 100+ watts.

        Reminds me of when I was looking at acquisition of an MRI - instead of scrounging time here and there on other people's magnets at $500 per hour, why not buy an older model for ~$100K? Well, because the $100K is the cheap end of owning an MRI - you need a rather large dedicated room for it, with a faraday cage, a supply of cryo-coolant, unusual power supply to get the magnet up to speed, etc.

        For chip foundries, start with a clean room - and keeping staff properly trained to keep that clean room functioning within spec...

        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.