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posted by martyb on Thursday July 18 2019, @07:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the big-problems-with-very-little-things dept.

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.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @06:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @06:50AM (#868860)

    And yet they are unable to scale it beyond tiny laptop chips. Their clocks are bad, their power efficiency is worse than 22nm-class chips. Those 2 released 10nm models were just to calm down investors.

    AMD has used a brilliant strategy in the chiplet design allowing them to have products from desktops through workstations to servers using the exact same small silicon pieces. This has very good yields and exploits the economy of scale. Intel on the other hand has separate designs for every segment that can't be shared and have to be custom made.

    The initial problems with Zen/Zen+ have all been solved while retaining compatibility with 2 generations of chipsets. You can run a Zen 2 on a super cheap A320 motherboard. You can even run the beast 3900X on a budget B350 provided you put a fan over VRMs.

    Meanwhile Intel "requires" new chipset and motherboard for every generation, even going as far as not even bothering with changing the socket! This is artificial since it's possible to hack around the BIOS of a Skylake motherboard to run the latest Coffee Lake in an "unsupported" configuration.

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