from the better-late-than-never dept.
Intel has a lot to prove. 2018 marked the chipmaker's 50th anniversary, but it was also a year that shook the company to its core. It was the year that Intel lost its CEO, struggled with Spectre and Meltdown, and reportedly lost Apple's confidence as far as chips for future Macs are concerned. Above all, it was the year the world finally realized Intel processors had hit a wall, after yet another failure to shrink its circuits down to the "10 nanometer" process node.
But now, after years of delays, the company is about to bring its first real batch[*] of 10nm CPUs to the world. Today, the company is officially taking the wraps off its 10th Gen Intel Core processors, codename "Ice Lake," and revealing some of what they might be able to do for your next PC when they ship in June.
[*] 18% IPC improvement *loud coughing* compared "against the Skylake cores the company released nearly four years ago!"
[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.
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