Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.
— Intel News (@intelnews) October 22, 2018
Earlier today, it was reported that Intel is cancelling its troublesome 10nm manufacturing process. In an unusual response, the company has tweeted an official denial of the claims.
Development of Intel’s 10nm process has been difficult. Intel was very ambitious with its 10nm process—planning to increase the transistor density by something like 2.7 times—and wanted to use a number of exotic technologies to get there. It turned out that the company had bitten off more than it could chew: yields were very low, which is to say, most of the chips being manufactured were defective.
In a bid to recover, Intel is now striving for a less ambitious scaling (though still more than double the transistor density of its 14nm process). It has one oddball processor on the market: the Cannon Lake core i3-8121U. Unusually for this kind of processor, the integrated GPU has been disabled. That’s because they’re not working; the GPUs use different designs for their logic than the CPUs, and these designs are proving particularly troublesome.
The company’s most recent estimate is that 10nm will go into volume production in the second half of 2019. The report from SemiAccurate cites internal sources saying that this isn’t going to happen: while there may be a few 10nm chips, for the most part Intel is going to skip to its 7nm process.
Typically, Intel doesn’t respond to rumors, but this one appears to be an exception. The company is tweeting that it’s making “good progress” on 10nm and that yields are improving consistent with the guidance the company provided on its last earnings report. Intel’s next earnings report is on Thursday, and we’re likely to hear more about 10nm’s progress then.
Listing image by Intel