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posted by martyb on Friday September 28 2018, @10:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the chip-ship-slip dept.

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

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 Migrates New Chipsets to "22nm" Node From "14nm" 3 comments

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

Intel Denies that It Will Cancel or Skip its "10nm" Process 11 comments

Report: Intel is cancelling its 10nm process. Intel: No, we're not

Earlier today, it was reported that Intel is cancelling its troublesome 10nm manufacturing process. In an unusual response, the company has tweeted an official denial of the claims.

[...] The company's most recent estimate is that 10nm will go into volume production in the second half of 2019. The report from SemiAccurate cites internal sources saying that this isn't going to happen: while there may be a few 10nm chips, for the most part Intel is going to skip to its 7nm process.

Typically, Intel doesn't respond to rumors, but this one appears to be an exception. The company is tweeting that it's making "good progress" on 10nm and that yields are improving consistent with the guidance the company provided on its last earnings report. Intel's next earnings report is on Thursday, and we're likely to hear more about 10nm's progress then.

Also at Tom's Hardware and The Verge.

Related: Intel's "Tick-Tock" Strategy Stalls, 10nm Chips Delayed (it has been over 3 years since this article was posted)
Moore's Law: Not Dead? Intel Says its 10nm Chips Will Beat Samsung's
Intel's First 8th Generation Processors Are Just Updated 7th Generation Chips
Intel Releases Open Letter in Attempt to Address Shortage of "14nm" Processors and "10nm" Delays

Original Submission

Intel Says "7nm" Node Using Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography is on Track 10 comments

Intel: EUV-Enabled 7nm Process Tech is on Track

Originally planned to enter mass production in the second half of 2016, Intel's 10nm process technology is still barely used by the company today. Currently the process is used to produce just a handful of CPUs, ahead of an expected ramp to high-volume manufacturing (HVM) only later in 2019. Without a doubt, Intel suffered delays on its 10nm process by several years, significantly impacting the company's product lineup and its business.

Now, as it turns out, Intel's 10nm may be a short-living node as the company's 7nm tech is on-track for introduction in accordance with its original schedule.

For a number of times Intel said that it set too aggressive scaling/transistor density targets for its 10nm fabrication process, which is why its development ran into problems. Intel's 10nm manufacturing tech relies exclusively on deep ultraviolet lithography (DUVL) with lasers operating on a 193 nm wavelength. To enable the fine feature sizes that Intel set out to achieve on 10nm, the process had to make heavy usage of mutli-patterning. According to Intel, a problem of the process was precisely its heavy usage of multipatterning (quad-patterning to be more exact).

By contrast, Intel's 7nm production tech will use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) with laser wavelength of 13.5 nm for select layers, reducing use of multipatterning for certain metal layers and therefore simplifying production and shortening cycle times. As it appears, the 7nm fabrication process had been in development separately from the 10nm tech and by a different team. As a result, its development is well underway and is projected to enter HVM in accordance with Intel's unannounced roadmap, the company says.

Meanwhile, an unconfirmed leak of AMD's Ryzen 3000 lineup shows a 12-core CPU at $300 and a 16-core CPU at $450.

Previously: Intel Delays Mass Production Of 10 nm CPUs To 2019
Intel Releases Open Letter in Attempt to Address Shortage of "14nm" Processors and "10nm" Delays
Intel Denies that It Will Cancel or Skip its "10nm" Process

Original Submission

Intel CEO Blames "10nm" Delays on Aggressive Density Target, Promises "7nm" for 2021 10 comments

Intel says it was too aggressive pursuing 10nm, will have 7nm chips in 2021

[Intel's CEO Bob] Swan made a public appearance at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, on Tuesday and explained to the audience in attendance that Intel essentially set the bar too high for itself in pursuing 10nm. More specifically, he pointed to Intel's overly "aggressive goal" of going after a 2.7x transistor density improvement over 14nm.

[...] Needless to say, the 10nm delays have caused Intel to fall well behind that transistor density doubling. Many have proclaimed Moore's Law as dead, but as far as Swan is concerned, Moore's Law is not dead. It apparently just needed to undergo an unexpected surgery.

"The challenges of being late on this latest [10nm] node of Moore's Law was somewhat a function of what we've been able to do in the past, which in essence was define the odds on scaling the infrastructure," Swan explains. Bumping up to a 2.7x scaling factor proved to be "very complicated," more so than Intel anticipated. He also says that Intel erred when it "prioritized performance at a time when predictability was really important."

"The short story is we learned from it, we'll get our 10nm node out this year. Our 7nm node will be out in two years and it will be a 2.0X scaling so back to the historical Moore's Law curve," Swan added.

Also at Fortune and Tom's Hardware.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday September 28 2018, @11:11PM (6 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday September 28 2018, @11:11PM (#741593)

    Which are the best comments, amirite?

    I have to wonder if the shortage is because they can't ramp up their smaller processes. The way Intel ramps up smaller processes is by shutting down a factory and updating it. So far it's been a smooth process, but I think they might have encountered a brick wall. Or at least a paper mache wall that will take more time than expected to get yields up in the smaller processes, hence the shortage.

    When the dust settled America realized it was saved by a porn star.
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28 2018, @11:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28 2018, @11:39PM (#741605)

      No, reality is that the NSA asked Intel to delay production a few weeks so thst NSA could finish coding some hot new IME features.

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:27AM (#741642)

      "How aggravating," said Thatham, as he crossed his arms in disapproval. The spectacle he was overlooking - that he was overhearing - was indeed aggravating, to the point where most ordinary people would call the cops. However, Thatham wanted to find out just what was happening, and so he exited his house and watched.

      Two women were screaming at one another outside of Thatham's house. From what the man could gather, they were having some sort of screaming match where whoever could scream the loudest and the longest would win. Thatham had never heard of such a thing before, and he didn't really understand the reason for it. But, then, he observed the situation more closely and began to see something else.

      "It's still not clear," Thatham muttered. Closer, closer! He needed to focus on the entirety of the scene in order to grasp it fully. Then, by using the full extent of his observational abilities, he finally understood.

      "Ah...!" the man exclaimed. It was all too clear now. Thatham had, at last, spotted the true cause of this so-called "screaming match." The one behind it all - the puppet master, if you will - had been exposed. That mastermind... was a man.

      The man was on top of the women, beating, raping, and mutilating them. If one were to look closely, they would notice that the women were naked and that their legs were broken; the latter was probably done so that they couldn't escape. Thatham watched for a while as the man's fists rained down upon the women and snuffed out their lives bit by bit. But, eventually, he became bored and decided to depart.

      "So that's all it was," Thatham said to himself, as he slowly walked back into his house. Yes, all along, that "screaming match" had just been a man exercising his rights...

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:34AM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <> on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:34AM (#741644) Journal

      Intel's "10nm" node has been delayed for years...

      Intel's "Tick-Tock" Strategy Stalls, 10nm Chips Delayed [] (July 2015)

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday September 29 2018, @08:40AM (2 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Saturday September 29 2018, @08:40AM (#741746)

        Don't forget the SoFIA cancellation (the real Atoms) mid circa 2016 and how they never recovered from that.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:43PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <> on Saturday September 29 2018, @01:43PM (#741787) Journal

          I do rememeber that, but when you say "they never recovered from that", didn't they not have much smartphone/tablet business in the first place? And Intel chips are at least found in Windows Surface Pro tablets these days.


          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday September 29 2018, @06:50PM

            by RamiK (1813) on Saturday September 29 2018, @06:50PM (#741873)

            Market wise, the surface tablets are just a windows laptop form factor since they serve the same use cases. What the pulling back from SoFIA meant wasn't just losing cellular market they never had. It meant they've stopped making another wafer for low-power mobile cores. It sounds inconsequential since those new always connected pcs aren't exactly selling like hot cakes... But what you're missing on is how those SoCs covered a bit more than consumer hardware: Bitcoin ASIC driving is done with ARM since the (rebranded mobile) Atom SoCs cost too much and eat too much power. Bank ATMs and the likes are also seeing ARM stepping in. Onboard computers for vehicles should have been Intel's as well if it wasn't for their lack of good cheap embedded cores. There's also the TV boxes / streamers / NASes that they should have easily owned if they only stayed around longer... It's all seems separate until you realize these are all chips Intel would have made using the same wafer and can't anymore because they canceled that effort and closed down/re-purposed those plants.

            It's why I laugh at those "Intel owns 99.9% of the server and desktop markets" statements. They keep pulling out of markets leaving it to their competition to rebrand as embedded or something. Take consoles for instance: How many billions we're talking about here? And didn't it just takeover PC gaming? Wasn't this most of the "shrinking PC market"? But they didn't have the capabilities to produce them so they gave up letting their marketers obscure their dwindling market dominance.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28 2018, @11:36PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28 2018, @11:36PM (#741602)

    If you spent as much time planning production as you do in creating Intel Management Engine spyware, you wouldn't be in this mess.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday September 28 2018, @11:43PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday September 28 2018, @11:43PM (#741607) Homepage

      This has everything to do with Linus "taking a break" and the fifth-columnist transsexual Chicoms having their way with the kernel while he's out.

      Intel's "random" number generators just weren't good enough for Linus, and they took offense to that, so Linus had to go away for a little while. Working in concert, the pink-hairs and Intel then opened up a backdoor bonanza that before the world's top spy agencies could have only dreamed of, and now Intel's hardware/microcode people are in full-swing going wild with those gaping Goatse's. It was already bad enough, but you ain't seen nothin' yet.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:16AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:16AM (#741689)

    What's with the "scare quotes" on the sizes? Are you saying that the 14nm and 10nm aren't actually what Intel claims they are? Is it like a friend telling you that they wear a "medium" when you know damn well it's an extra large?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:52AM

      by takyon (881) <> on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:52AM (#741703) Journal

      Those node names don't mean much of anything anymore, and they are defined differently by different companies.

      Intel "10nm" is said to be on part with TSMC "7nm".

      Moore's Law: Not Dead? Intel Says its 10nm Chips Will Beat Samsung's []

      Why All Nodes Won’t Work []

      “We all know that the newer process geometries are more of a guide as to what the process capabilities are (transistor density and power/speed tradeoffs) than to any actual physical dimension of the process,” said Marc Greenberg, group director for product marketing, DDR, HBM, flash/storage and MIPI IP at Cadence. “The industry standard to date has been to indicate key differences in processing-for example, SiON (silicon oxynitride) versus high-k/metal gate, EUV or not-with different letter or symbol suffixes to the process. But that may eventually become new nodelets instead of new suffixes. At the 28nm node, we saw a lot of variants of the 28nm processes that were generally incompatible with each other. That created a lot of work for the IP industry to cover all of these process node variations. We also saw some of the early finFET nodes have some difficulty taking off, which was more work for the IP industry that didn’t necessarily convert into sales.”

      What is a nodelet?

      Much of the confusion around nodelets is based on marketing terminology. Numbers have blurred to the point where no one is quite sure what the numbers really signify. What TSMC and Samsung call 5nm is actually 7nm for Intel, GlobalFoundries and Imec, and the same applies for 10/7nm and 5/3nm. On top of that, there are different versions of these nodes, based on low power or high performance or cost, each of which can have its own unique twists.

      “The thought process in an established node is that if it’s in production, then you can optimize that node,” said Synopsys’ Nandra. “So you have 28nm and you know it works well and defect density is in a solid percentage. To improve that, you squeeze it a little, give it a new name like 22nm. But that doesn’t mean that it has a 22nm gate length. You’ve done something to give it better density. That shouldn’t be a big change for the IP community. But when it comes to high-speed versions, with extraction, simulation, resistances, capacitance and inductive relationship of packages, the impact of transistors as they have gone through optical shrink, all of that creates a big amount of re-working. You need a complete revalidation of the IP. Post-layout parasitic extraction can be quite a challenge. Or you need to complete a new test chip just to make sure you have not missed anything.”

      Silicon Lacks Clear Metrics []

      Technology Node []

      Transistor Options Beyond 3nm []

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:23AM (4 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Saturday September 29 2018, @04:23AM (#741696) Homepage Journal

    It was not long at all that I read of the desktop PC's tragically untimely demise, because mobile devices.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @06:26AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @06:26AM (#741734)

      Maybe it's the result of 2018 finally being the year of the Linux desktop?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @11:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @11:46AM (#741760)

        It is for my house

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:49PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:49PM (#741803) Journal

        If by Linux desktop you mean the Gnu/Linux one and not the "My desktop is now just an Android Tablet! Woo Hoo! It's almost as good as a real computer! I don't miss useful technology very much at all!" variety, as is often meant by the phrase, then the year with the strongest adoption so far* was probably 2015, coinciding with the release of Windows 10 as the One True Microsoft Operating System. People had to choose between complete Microsoft control of their digital lives (forced phone-home monitoring, forced updates, forced upgrades, forced installs, forced uninstalls, forced configuration options, shut up citizen we know what's best for our bottom line you), and going with a different operating system.

        I know people talk about "Wintel" as if the Windows market position and the Intel market position are related, but Windows will run on Not-Intel chips, and of course many Not-Windows operating systems are targeted for Intel chips. I love a good conspiracy theory, but I think the reason for Intel's being slow on the smaller-microparts uptake is that more people got fed up with trying to do actual work on phones and tablets, and went back to real computers, than Intel expected, and they are experiencing a period of short supply while they catch up. Any nefarious, evil things that Intel is currently planning or doing are probably separate issues.

        Anyway, many (though bewilderingly, I don't think most) of the people who have the technological knowhow** to do so decided to switch to free software operating systems around that time, the majority of which are based on Linux. (That "many people" is a fraction of a percent of the market. I think Microsoft could program Windows 10 to actually murder people via electrocution at random and their userbase would complain and grumble about it but still fall in line.)

        As time marches on, and the user-monitoring and forced-choices become more and more intrusive, there should be a steady trickle*** of migration away from Windows and towards free operating systems, again most of which are based on Linux.

        * Unverified statistic based on idle thought. Makes sense to me, though. I know that I personally removed Windows from the last computer in my home office in 2015.
        ** The ability to post to social media while driving a vehicle with manual transmission in heavy traffic does not constitute "technological knowhow", sorry.
        *** Well, actually, analyzing the situation, there should be a mass exodus away from operating systems that have deliberate malicious misfeatures, given that free options exist that respect the user. But those options still need poilish (whether the reader personally admits it or not) to be widely acceptable, for a variety of reasons, and the manpower and creativeness to polish them is apparently still running Mac or Windows. Chicken and egg problem.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30 2018, @01:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30 2018, @01:07PM (#742070)

      EOL for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020, 15 months from now.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:01PM (#741763)

    Intel is shit!