Intel says it is on track o launch its first 7-nanometer based products, a data center focused discrete GPU in 2021, two years after the launch of 10-nanometer. The company is also "well down" the engineering path on 5-nanometer.
The comments were made by Intel CEO Robert H. Swan during a conference call for the company's Q3 financial results.
"Our process technology and design engineering teams are working closely to ease process design complexity and balance schedule, performance, power and cost," Swan said.
Swan also said that Intel is investing to recapture process leadership going forward. Intel is currently focusing on the 10-nanometer area, and is ramping a multitude of products. Swan said that Intel's manufacturing process node execution is improving, with the company's Fabs in Oregon and Israel to start volume production on 10-nanometer.
"Yields are improving ahead of expectations for both client and data center products. The Intel 10-nanometer product era has begun, and our new 10th Gen Core Ice Lake processors are leading the way," Swan added.
In Q3, Intel shipped its first 10-nanometer Agilex FPGAs. And in 2020, the company will continue to expand its 10-nanometer portfolio with new products including an AI Inference Accelerator, 5G base station SOC, Xeon CPUs for server storage, and network and a discrete GPU. "This quarter, we've achieved power on exit for our first discrete GPU, DG1, an important milestone," Swan added.
For the 7nm and 5nm, Intel is getting back to a two-and-a-half, two year cadence.
"When we put the design rules in for 7-nanometer, we were less aggressive in terms of density. Our learning from going from 14 to 10 is with a benefit of hindsight, we were just -- we tried to scale it a -- a 2.7 factor, and that was -- that ended up putting too much invention or revolutionary nodes into the fab environment to meet those kind of hurdles and the learning from that is we just can't hit those kind of really aggressive targets. So lots of learnings out of 10. Our transition to 10, that we incorporated into 7, the design, the design rules, there's less complexity, and for the last couple of years that we've been working with EUV," Swan said.
Commenting on EUV, Intel expects to use it as the company scales to 7 nm and indicated that the company's first product will be two years from from this quarter. So fourth quarter of 2021, Intel's first 7-nanometer product will come out and Intel's expectation is that will get back on a two-year cadence from 7 and beyond.