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posted by takyon on Saturday April 28 2018, @11:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the decadeometer dept.

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 does not elaborate whether it intends to ship (in volume) its 10 nm CPUs in the first half or the second half of 2019, but only says that the company’s engineers know the source of the yield problems and are working hard to fix them. As a result, it is pretty safe to assume that the actual ramp of Intel’s 10 nm production will begin towards the second half of next year.

In a bid to stay competitive before its 10-nm CPUs ship in the H2 2019 – H1 2020 (production ramp takes time, bigger processors will launch later than smaller parts), Intel plans to release another generation of products made using its 14 nm process tech. This generation of chips includes Whiskey Lake products for client PCs and Cascade Lake for the datacenter, and both are scheduled for release later this year.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:05AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:05AM (#673181)

    ... with twice as many cores. Intel was finished as soon as Andy Grove left the building.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:33AM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:33AM (#673187) Journal
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday April 29 2018, @02:58AM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday April 29 2018, @02:58AM (#673222) Homepage

        You'd never think at first glance the "dick size debate" would be about smaller, not bigger.

        Anyway, you knew this already, but at those dimensions things like leakage current really take their toll on design. Well, good for them. I'll sit on my fat 50nm ass and wait for all the i̶d̶i̶o̶t̶s̶ first-adopters to pay extra money to fund the research.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:18AM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:18AM (#673229) Journal

          Something like this [wikipedia.org] will probably solve the leakage problem. They will get whipped out only when the last $$$ have been squeezed out from current finFET/gate-all-around [soylentnews.org] transistors, apparently going down to as low as "3nm" [soylentnews.org] or even "1.5nm" [semiengineering.com].

          There is competition in the market even if AMD burns out: x86 vs. ARM. So eventually they will figure out TFETs or whatever is necessary to either boost clock speeds again or stack cores in order to reach core counts in the hundreds or thousands.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by milsorgen on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:57AM

      by milsorgen (6225) on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:57AM (#673205)

      You do realize differing companies processes are not directly comparable? In comparisons between 10nm and other companies 7nm Intel matches or approaches feature sizes of the smaller process with it's 10nm. At the end of the day all that matters is the performance and efficiency of the chip, irregardless of how it's labeled.

      --
      On the Oregon Coast, born and raised, On the beach is where I spent most of my days...
    • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:33PM (2 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:33PM (#673450) Journal

      Meanwhile AMD readies 5nm chips ... with twice as many cores. Intel was finished as soon as Andy Grove left the building.

      I like AMD. I want them to not only succeed, but win and be the dominant CPU maker for the masses.

      On the other hand, AMD's bright shiny 2018 release, Ryzen R7 2700X (CPUMARK score 17180), struggles to keep up with a Xeon E52697v2 from 2013 (CPUMARK score 17440). What were they doing with those 5 years (besides FX)?

      You mention "Moar Cores", and it's a joke, sure, but it's not a joke written by a comedian--it's AMD's best hope right now to do anything better than that Ryzen, other than perhaps a separately-housed liquid nitrogen factory cooler. Their "Threadripper" Moar Cores CPUs are just multiple Ryzens in a honkin big package.

      Let's say they start doing that at 5nm, okay, then if the past decade is any guide, they will be the hottest, slowest 5nm chips ever, plus AMD will find a separate way to handicap them that surprises everyone.

      And speaking of CPUMARK [cpubenchmark.net], you can read there that Intel makes every one of today's 15 fastest x86 processors. AMD cracks the list down at #16 with a Threadripper from 2017. Some of those top 15 Intel chips are from 2014 or 2015. This shows that a lead time or a headstart is likely to be of little value to AMD in terms of performance.

      I was grieved when I heard of Mr. Grove's passing a few years ago; he was indeed a great engineer and a great leader. But Intel kept going strong and they are beating the pants off AMD at CPU speed*. Maybe that will change, but nothing I read here signals such a change.

      -----
      * Ironically, it is largely AMD's own fault. Intel has proven that they are quite content to make only minimal-to-no advances in the face of low or lackluster competition, but AMD, by doing things through the years like their 486DX4 that approached the speed of early Pentium chips, to K5 and K6 chips that had higher IPC than their Intel counterparts, to the revolutionary and monumental invention of 64-bit x86 processors, has provided that competition that has forced Intel to be an innovator. And Intel is an 800lb gorilla of an innovator when they are forced to be.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Sunday April 29 2018, @08:35PM (1 child)

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @08:35PM (#673477)

        All of those top CPUs are over $1,000. Those aren't CPUs for anyone but military and businesses with deep pockets. Meanwhile, AMDs latest consumer release, the R7 2700x has 17,174 points for $329.99 (going by that graph).

        Intel's current best consumer processor is the i7-8700k which has 16,047 points for 339.99. Intel has brand inertia right now, not a better consumer product.

        "Moar Cores" isn't a joke. It's AMD's latest innovation. Not more cores on one die. But more cores that can be repackaged together via their cpu fabric. That lets them scale their CPUs up without scaling their die size up and lose more CPUs due to manufacturing defects. Which is the issue Intel is having with their 10nm process.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @01:19AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @01:19AM (#673555)

          Don't forget that you actually get this nice little feature called "Meltdown" on Intel CPUs for that kind of performance.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:08AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:08AM (#673182)

    While you're in there why don't you fix that Meltdown and Spectre stuff.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:41PM (#673882)

      so many backdoors to install, so little time...

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:16AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:16AM (#673184)

    I demand smaller process and faster! I'm a hardcore gaymer and I demand the best hard ware for my big buck dildo games! Break the laws of physics for me because I'm worth it!

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:21AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:21AM (#673185)

      because I'm worth it!

      I was with you all the way until that last part.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:51AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:51AM (#673191)

        You don't get jokes, do you?

        Why did the muscular black man slide his erect penis into your anus? Because he was sexually aroused.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:29AM (15 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:29AM (#673202)

    I just upgraded from Sandy Bridge to Coffee Lake. The speed boost (# cores) x (frequency) is nice, 90 %, but it took 6 long years to happen.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:54AM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:54AM (#673204) Homepage

      I just upgraded from insulting Jews and darker-skinned minorities to insulting the stupid naming conventions of the tech industry.

      * Angrily glares at Ubuntu

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:11AM (#673227)

        Since Murdock was murdered by jews, shouldn't it be named Deadian Linux?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:08AM (6 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:08AM (#673224) Journal

      Top of the line AMD and Intel CPUs now have 16 and 18 cores respectively. A big and very recent jump in value.

      Intel Core i7-2700K was $332 in October 2011. ~10% inflation [bls.gov] since then puts that at about $366. There were some more expensive enthusiast chips, the 3930K at $583 ($643), and 3960X and 3970X at $999 ($1102).

      You can get the 6-core Intel Core i7-8700K for under $360, or 8 cores from AMD for as low as $260 (Ryzen 7 1700). 12-core Threadripper for about $670. At $1100, you can get the Intel Core i9-7920X with 12 cores, or 16-core AMD Threadripper for just $880.

      It would be nice if the price per core were lower. 6 cores are only now taking the place of quad-core on the Intel side (with Coffee Lake, launched a few months ago), while AMD does 8 cores comfortably at that price point. Maybe those will get bumped up if AMD includes more 50% more cores in the Zen 2 CCX and releases a 12-core chip for under $400. Area reductions at "7nm" and below should make it possible (or physically necessary) to boost core counts.

      Your equation doesn't take into account IPC increases. Although IPC increases since Sandy Bridge were often minuscule, those have added up from Sandy Bridge → Ivy Bridge → Haswell → Broadwell → Skylake → Kaby Lake → Coffee Lake. Apparently, that factor is up to +35% IPC between Sandy Bridge and Kaby Lake [anandtech.com] (others put it closer to 20% [hardocp.com]).

      If you want to squeeze the last bit of performance out, you could consider AVX2 instructions (it's unclear when AVX-512 will go mainstream now that Cannon Lake appears to be delayed).

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @03:37AM (#673232)

        If you want to squeeze the last bit of performance out, you could consider AVX2 instructions (it's unclear when AVX-512 will go mainstream now that Cannon Lake appears to be delayed).

        AVX-256 and AVX-512 are bullshit. When a CPU throttles its clock rate to run vector instructions or electrically powers off the top half of its registers to avoid melting itself, that's when you know overeager designers promised "ours goes wider up 512" with no regard for how much performance will suffer when the extra wide-ass registers actually get used.

        Benchmark with AVX-128 before assuming anything wider is better.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:27AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:27AM (#673252)

        It was a consumer chip, 2600k and now 8700k (on sale at Microcenter for $300). It's always easier to pull the trigger when the deal feels good. Odd that Intel doesn't advertise the all-core turbo frequency of 4.3 GHz, since that's when the processor is processing the most. Thanks for the IPC info, but according to the ratio of benchmark results [cpubenchmark.net], the IPC gain is only +3%. The benchmark ratio is 1.899, while (6*4.3)/(4*3.5)=1.843. Even if you use base speeds (3.7 vs 3.4 GHz), which I don't think is correct, the IPC gain is only 17%.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:45AM (3 children)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:45AM (#673255) Journal

          Passmark gives a single thread rating for both chips:

          2709 / 1942 = ~1.395

          1.395 / (3.7 / 3.4) = ~1.28

          There's your 20-35% IPC improvement, I suppose.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:54AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:54AM (#673272)

            But the CPUs generally run at turbo speeds, not base. Then the IPC gain for single threaded performance is only 13%. Who buys a fast CPU and throttles it down?

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:07PM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:07PM (#673386) Journal

              https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/forced-induction-intel-turbo-boost-works-technology-explained/ [makeuseof.com]

              Intel Turbo Boost monitors the current usage of a Core i5 or i7 processor to determine how close the processor is to the maximum thermal design power, or TDP. The TDP is the maximum amount of power the processor is supposed to use. If the Core i5 or i7 processor sees that it is operating well within limits, Turbo Boost kicks in.

              Turbo Boost is a dynamic feature. There is no set-in-stone speed which the Core i5 or i7 processor will reach when in Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost operates in 133Mhz increments and will scale up until it either reaches the maximum Turbo Boost allowed (which is determined by the model of processor) or the processor comes close to its maximum TDP. For example, the Core i5 750 has a base clock speed of 2.66GHz but has a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.2GHz.

              Turbo is not a complete indicator of how fast the CPU is going to be, and it's not a "you can overclock it to this" number. It will depend on the cooling setup, it could ramp up to the maximum clock for less than a second, etc. You are also unlikely to reach the maximum turbo with more than 1 core active. However, I think Intel publishes more granular turbo clocks for its newer CPUs, showing what 1, 2, 3, 4... cores can boost up to.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:39PM

              by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:39PM (#673451) Journal

              Who buys a fast CPU and throttles it down?

              The person who puts it in a box in a hot server room to which he has to drive if there is a failure?

    • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday April 29 2018, @04:32AM (5 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @04:32AM (#673239) Journal

      I'm more interested in the huge cut in power usage. Compared to the computer I purchased in 2008, I got about 10% increase in performance, and the big one, a reduction in power use of 80%, And it's in a much, much smaller box than those wastes of space tower cases.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:26AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:26AM (#673251)

        It's astounding how you trend followers became so obsessed with low power rigs after being obsessed with giant space heating towers with giant power supplies.

        If you truly cared about performance per watt then you would ditch x86 entirely and use ARM64 everywhere. Desktop, laptop, phone, cloud. Y u only ARM in yur phone, brah?

        I await the day when every forum I read is an echo chamber of trendy bros who agree the inevitable migration to ARM64 everywhere was obviously obvious. See you then.

        • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:29PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @12:29PM (#673377) Journal

          Oh, I've tried ARM, tried the Raspberry Pis. They're great for devices with small screens. Runs a GUI okay at a 1080p resolution, but a video playing in a fullscreen browser window can be a strain for it. Depends a lot whether the video is in a format it can decode in hardware. X86 has the muscle to do software decoding in realtime, the ARM not so much. If playing with a new video codec such as AV1, which is not yet implemented in hardware anywhere, going to want that power. Another problem is less X86 vs ARM, it's X86 GPU (Nvidia GEForce or AMD Radeon or even Intel's integrated HD Graphics) vs ARM GPU (Mali).

          Anyway, AV1 in hardware is another reason you might want to wait a couple of years if you don't need an upgrade sooner.

      • (Score: 2) by Ramze on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:07PM

        by Ramze (6029) on Sunday April 29 2018, @01:07PM (#673387)

        I'm not so much interested in the lower power aspect as the corollaries -- quieter performance, less heat, and as you already mentioned, smaller form factors.

        I love that I can set up a fan-less system with an SSD as a multimedia center connected to a 60" TV and not have it heat up the room, drown out the audio with fan noises and hard drive clicks or take up a large area on the TV stand or one that needs a lot of ventilation.

      • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:36PM

        by toddestan (4982) on Sunday April 29 2018, @05:36PM (#673432)

        I don't understand the people who make such a big deal out of power usage, but leave their stuff running 24/7 for no reason whatsoever.

        Also, while idle power is much lower, the power usage at max load hasn't really changed much. Want to actually use that new processor at 100% for extended periods of time without having it throttle? Well, better get one of those big "waste of space" tower cases to make sure it can dissipate all that heat.

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:42PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @06:42PM (#673452) Journal

        I'm more interested in the huge cut in power usage.

        I don't mind that, don't get me wrong, if the speed doesn't suffer.

        But all things being equal, I'd rather have a *fast* computer that dims the lights on the whole block when it powers up than a dainty light no-power-using CPU that anxiously weighs the power costs on mother earth before performing any calculation.

        I want to be able to *set* it to do that, sure. But if that's baked in and I can't change it, then it is serving a master and owner who is not me, even if I ostensibly bought the thing.

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday April 29 2018, @04:26AM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @04:26AM (#673237) Journal

    I got a skylake and a kaby lake a few months before Spectre was made public. Would not have bought if I'd known. Won't buy any more until Spectre and Meltdown are fixed.

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