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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, @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.