Chasing $300B market, Intel will launch its 7-nanometer chips in 2021


The process will also mark Intel's first commercial use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, and will also employ the next generation of Intel's advanced Foveros and EMIB packaging. Keynotes were presented by Intel CEO Bob Swan and business unit leaders.

Intel also talked about its upcoming 7nm-based processors. By the second half of 2019, Swan said, the pressure on Intel's fabs will lessen, and the company will again be able to satisfy customer demand.

At Intel's investor meeting today in Santa Clara, Calif., the company filled in details of its roadmap and product launch plans and sought to allay concerns about delays of its 10nm chips. Among the other 10nm products planned for this time frame is one of the company's first general objective GPUs, additional CPUs for client computers, the Intel Nervana NNP-I inference processor, the Intel Agilex family of FPGAs and the company's "Snow Ridge" 5G-ready network system-on-chip. Swan told investors that the company is halting plans to add manufacturing capacity for NAND flash chips, and is considering a manufacturing partnership similar to the one it struck with Micron Technology for the production of 3D XPoint chips, which Intel branded as Optane.

INTEL RECKONS it'll begin cranking out 10-nanometre based Ice Lake processors in June, ready for volume shipment in laptops, likely sometime at the end of the year and early 2020.

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Before this, however, Intel will launch a high-performance 7nm GPU for data centres, AI, and high-performance computing. The new chips will start shipping in June, bringing with them "approximately 3 times faster wireless speeds, 2 times faster video transcode speeds, 2 times faster graphics performance, and 2.5 to 3 times faster artificial intelligence performance" compared to past generation products. These will deliver even greater efficiency gains projected at a 20 percent increase in performance per watt along with a four times reduction in design rule complexity. Following the Sapphire Rapids will come Intel's "Next-Gen" server CPU in 2022 that may be made using a variation of Intel's 7 nm process technology, depending on how production goes.

Looking further ahead, Intel also has plans of transitioning to its own 7nm node, starting in 2021.

Dr. Murthy Renduchalata dove in deeper on the difficulties that Intel encountered in its move to 10nm process, such as taking on too much risk on 10nm design goals. Intel has said that spending on servers "paused" while customers, who ordered at a frantic rate previous year, work through their inventory stockpiles.

Intel's Xeon processors will continue to be the company's key components for datacenters, but there will be a host of other products for other datacenter workloads, including Xe GPUs, a variety of FPGAs and others.