Intel Replies To 10nm Process Node Cancellation Rumors: “We Are Making Good Progress on 10nm”

A photo released Oct. 8, 2018, shows a die from a 9th Gen Intel Core processor. The processor family is optimized for gaming, content creation and productivity. (Source: Intel Corporation)

Intel has officially posted a reply to the cancellation reports of their 10nm process, spread by certain media outlets. According to Intel, the reports are untrue and they are still making good progress when it comes to 10nm.

Intel on 10nm Cancellation Rumors: Reports Are Untrue, Making Good Progress

Intel's 10nm woes are nothing that the tech industry isn't aware of. The company has been so far behind on schedule with what they initially promised that even Intel themselves don't exactly know when a retail product is going to ship out to consumers. This means that some sort of controversy from the rumor mill is expected to rise and that just happened to be so.

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Yesterday, SemiAccurate posted in an exclusive report, that Intel has killed off one of its most advanced technologies, the 10nm process. The 10nm process has its problems and most of them are related to manufacturing delays and yields but the website reported that Intel has simply said goodbye to their 10nm process, one of the marketing highlights for many years for the company.

Many media outlets quickly started churning out stories, quoting SemiAccurate on their report but today, Intel has straightforwardly denied that the 10nm process is ending. Following is the official tweet from Intel.

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. via Twitter

According to Intel, the reports are untrue and further states that yields are improving consistently and that good progress is being made on 10nm. According to Intel themselves, the 10nm process-based chips will start shipping in 2019 which sounds good, but when looking at their first 10nm process announcement roadmaps, we discover that 10nm was projected for a launch in 2015, but since then, Intel has been popping out 14nm chips based on enhanced process designs.

That is one reason why their 14nm supply has been put into so much constraint that supply of their desktop and server grade parts is running short around the globe. Price hikes can be seen on the desktop parts across the market with 8th and 9th Gen CPUs selling well beyond their retail prices. Intel recently invested an additional $1 Billion in a 14nm production ramp to keep the supply going, but the situation is not at all great for Intel at the moment.

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The surprising return to PC TAM growth has put pressure on our factory network. We’re prioritizing the production of Xeon and Core processors so that collectively we can serve the high-performance segments of the market.

That said, supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly at the entry-level of the PC market. We continue to believe we will have at least the supply to meet the full-year revenue outlook we announced in July, which was $4.5 billion higher than our January expectations.

To address this challenge, we’re taking the following actions:

  • We are investing a record $15 billion in capital expenditures in 2018, up approximately $1 billion from the beginning of the year. We’re putting that $1 billion into our 14nm manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland and Israel. This capital along with other efficiencies is increasing our supply to respond to your increased demand.
  • We’re making progress with 10nm. Yields are improving and we continue to expect volume production in 2019.
  • We are taking a customer-first approach. We’re working with your teams to align demand with available supply. You can expect us to stay close, listen, partner and keep you informed.

With competition heating up from the other side and TSMC's 7nm process being used to power AMD's next-generation Ryzen and EPYC processors, Intel may have to start thinking about their product and process timeline if they want to retain their lead in the CPU market.

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