Intel plans to ramp up 10nm production during 2018

Will we be seeing 10nm products within the year?

Intel plans to ramp up 10nm production during 2018

Intel plans to ramp up 10nm production during 2018

In short, Intel's 10nm process has been nothing but a disappointment from a consumer perspective, suffering from numerous delays and the death of Intel's traditional "tick-tock" product development cycle. 

Typically, an Intel process node would be used to create two generations of products, like Ivy-Bridge and Haswell on 22nm and Westmere and Sandy Bridge on 32nm. With 14nm things changed, 10nm was an ambitious node that sat on the edge of what was possible using the foundry technology of the time. This difficulty eventually forced delays, so much so that 14nm and it's enhanced + and ++ variants are now available on four whole generations of Intel Products. 

14nm has been used on four successive generations of products, Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby Lake and now Coffee Lake, giving rival foundries like TSMC, Samsung and Globalfoundries ample opportunity to catch up. Intel's lead in the Foundry market has been whittled away, so much so that the long-delayed 10nm node is now described as comparable to GlobalFoundries and TSMC's upcoming 7nm processes (Yes, process names are confusing). 

During their Q4 2018 financial call, Intel reconfirmed that the company has met their target of shipping 10nm products to their customers before the end of 2017, though they remain silent on who their clients are and what product they were building for them. The product in question is undoubtedly low-volume, explaining why Intel would not want to reveal any specific details. 

Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, also stated that Intel would continue to ship 10nm products during the first half of 2018 and will ramp 10nm into high-volume production in the second half of the year. The company also noted that this would have a cost impact on the business, as should be expected given how problematic 10nm has been so far.        


Intel plans to ramp up 10nm production during 2018


With 10nm production getting ramped into overdrive this year it is likely that we will see 10nm products before the end of the year, ending the company's reliance on 14nm. 

The introduction of new process nodes from all major foundries sets up 2019 to be a fascinating year for the CPU market, as this is when AMD is also expected to make the jump to 7nm with their upcoming Ryzen 2 architecture and when Intel's 10nm products should arrive in the market in force. Will Intel be able to maintain their CPU dominance now that their process advantage has waned? 

You can join the discussion on Intel's 10nm plans on the OC3D Forums

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