It took Intel a fair amount of time to move from 14nm chips to 10nm chips, and now it appears like we may have to wait even longer for the company’s 7nm process as Intel announced in the Q2 2020 earnings call that “the company’s 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations,”. Those expectations were for the end of 2021, meaning that we will only be seeing these leaner and meaner chips sometime in 2022. It’s not exactly clear what the cause of the delay is though, which Intel CEO Bob Swan referred to as a “defect mode”, so it’s likely they are ironing out a few issues with their design.
Considering AMD has also been rolling out its own Ryzen 4000 chips based on a 7nm architecture, it is concerning that Intel hasn’t been able to make sufficient progress in this department. Yes, their chips are still good sellers and highly performant, easily competing and often beating AMD’s 7nm chipsets, but as AMD progresses in their design and is able to introduce more and more cores into the mix, their chips are expected to start outperforming Intel and likely to cause the company to start losing market share, especially in the laptop space where the smaller processors would be most useful.
It wasn’t all bad news for the company though, as they are on track to release its 11th Gen Tiger Lake chips (based on the company’s third-generation, 10nm++ processor) to succeed the 10th Gen Ice Lake line-up for laptops later this year, bringing with them Intel’s much-hyped Xe graphics. Intel is also expecting to launch its first products from its 12th Gen Alder Lake (the successor to Tiger Lake) line-up towards the end of this year — including the company’s long-awaited first 10nm desktop CPUs.
It will be interesting to see how quickly AMD can capitalise on their advantage here and if they can drastically push for increased performance in this space or if Intel can do enough with the performance of their new chips before moving over to the 7nm chips.
And if you’re wondering what the big deal is between 10nm and 7nm chips, this article from How to Geek is quite helpful.
Last Updated: July 27, 2020