Intel Accelerated: Intel lays down 5-year roadmap for upcoming products to reclaim chipmaking industry leadership

By: |
July 27, 2021 7:30 PM

One of the announcements that the company made was that it was moving away from the nanometer-based node nomenclature that is currently being used by Intel as well as other chipmakers.

Here’s a look at the new roadmap that Intel is planning to follow in the coming years.

Intel architecture roadmap: Intel has started to rethink the way it releases as well as brands its innovations in semiconductors, as per company’s CEO Pat Gelsinger. He made the announcement while speaking at the Intel Accelerated webcast, and also spoke broadly about the roadmap for Intel’s processors over the next five years, along with new chip and packaging technologies. He also promised an “annual cadence of innovation”, while having the end goal of getting Intel to reclaim by 2025 its leadership position in the processor sector.

One of the announcements that the company made was that it was moving away from the nanometer-based node nomenclature that is currently being used by Intel as well as other chipmakers. In its place, the chipmaker giant would name its products based on a new scheme. For instance, its new third-gen 10 nm chips would be referred to as Intel 7 and not some name like 10nm SuperFin chips that it had given to its chip last year.

Also read | Nvidia claims its new TensorRT 8 SDK can cut AI inference time in half for language queries

Here’s a look at the new roadmap that Intel is planning to follow in the coming years:

  1. The new third-generation 10nm technology by Intel, that succeeds its 10nm SuperFin from last year, is being named as Intel 7. The company has said that this new hardware would come with a 10%-15% performance improvement per watt in comparison to its predecessor. It is likely that the first products based on Intel 7 could come up as early as 2021 itself.
  2. Intel 4 is the name for what was previously known as the 7nm process of Intel, and it has been delayed to 2023 instead of 2021 by Intel due to manufacturing issues. This architecture would mark the next big jump from Intel in terms of tech because the company is using extreme ultraviolet or EUV technology in it, even as Samsung and TSMC’s 5nm node products are already making use of this technology. Moreover, it would also have the same broad FinFET transistor architecture that the company has been using for a decade now. As per the chipmaker, Intel 4 would enhance the performance-per-watt by about 20% while reducing the overall area. As of now, the production of Intel 4 is slated to begin in the 2022 second half, and accordingly, the first products based on it are likely to be out in 2023.
  3. The second-generation 7nm product by Intel is now being named as Intel 3 and it would go under production in the second half of 2023. Though it would also be a FinFET product, additional optimisations and use of EUV would be offered so that Intel 3 would offer about 18% performance-per-watt improvement over Intel 4. As per now, since no announcement in this regard has been made, it is assumed that the first products based on Intel 3 would not be available before 2024.
  4. Intel 20A was a key announcement by Intel as it would mark the first new transistor architecture by Intel since FinFET in 2011 – the RibbonFET. It would be a new transistor technology for Intel promising smaller sizes along with greater transistor density. Moreover, 20A would also mark the debut of the new “PowerVia” technology which would let wafers be powered from the back of the chip, eliminating the need for power to be rounded up front. Intel 20A is not likely to go under production until 2024.
  5. Intel 18A would be the second-generation product featuring RibbonFET tech, and is expected by Intel to be developed by early 2025, the last one in its 5-year roadmap. With this, Intel hopes to re-establish itself as the leader of the semiconductor industry.

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