In a report published by TrendForce, we get our second confirmation that Intel's tGPU for 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs which is expected to utilize TSMC's 3nm process node, has been delayed for volume production till late 2023.
Intel's 3nm tGPU Mass Production Delay Hampers TSMC, 14th Gen Meteor Lake Postponed Till Late 2023?
Update (05/08/23): Intel has confirmed to us that there is nothing to the TSMC verification rumors (as far as they are aware based on TSMC comments). The 14th Gen Meteor Lake productions is still planned per schedule as mentioned in Pat Gelsinger's following quote:
“In 2023, we will deliver our first disaggregated CPU built on Intel 4, Meteor Lake, which is showing good health in both our and our customers' labs.”
Earlier it was rumored that Intel might be pushing its 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs to late 2023 and it looks like we are getting similar reports from Trendforce's sources close to the Taiwanese chip maker, TSMC. It is reported that Intel initially planned to have mass production of the tGPU (Tiled GPU) featured on the 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs beginning in the second half of 2022. That was later delayed to the first half of 2023 due to product design and process verification issues but now, we might be looking at an even further delay.
According to TrendForce research, Intel plans to outsource the tGPU chipset in Meteor Lake to TSMC for manufacture. Mass production of this product was initially planned for 2H22 but was later postponed to 1H23 due to product design and process verification issues. Recently, the product’s mass production schedule has been postponed again to the end of 2023 for some reason, nigh completely cancelling 3nm production capacity originally booked in 2023 with only a marginal amount of wafer input remaining for engineering verification.
However, the development status of Intel's own Intel 4 process and the accompanying outsourcing situation are still important potential growth drivers for TSMC. If Intel 4 fails to mass-produce as scheduled, Intel may outsource its computing tiles to TSMC, strongly driving growth in 2024. However, if the Intel process develops smoothly, there remains the possibility of the company choosing to manufacture related products itself and canceling TSMC's orders.
As per the latest data, TSMC may not commence mass production on Intel's 3nm tGPU till the end of 2023. A report from last month by Digitimes had similar things to say. it was said that Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, would himself visit TSMC to course-correct its outsourcing plan with the Taiwanese chipmaker. Since Intel was a major 3nm customer, a delay would potentially hurt and slowdown TSMC. Although there are other major vendors for 3nm such as Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm, their products aren't expected to begin production until 2024.
It is also highlighted that Intel's own "Intel 4" process node may have some trouble and if it fails to produce any viable volume for Meteor Lake CPUs, Chipzilla might reconsider outsourcing other IPs such as the Compte Tile to TSMC too. That might help TSMC to drive revenue further up but based on Intel's recent claims, it looks like progress is being made on their in-house process node and is showing good results but we'll see as we enter 2023.
We are building on Alder Lake leadership with Raptor Lake in the second half of this year and Meteor Lake in 2023, exemplifying how our innovative design decisions can drive leadership performance even before reestablishing best-in-class transistor technology.
And in 2023, we will deliver our first disaggregated CPU built on Intel 4, Meteor Lake, which is showing good health in both our and our customers' labs.
Yeah. Maybe as we just run through the five nodes quickly, Intel 7 done, volume shipments, we said five nodes, four years, Intel 7, 35 million units, you can go rip one apart. I'm sure our competitors have done teardowns on it, done. Intel 4, right, we said is, hey, Meteor Lake, looking good at this point.
Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger (Q2 2022 Earnings Call)
The tGPU is going to be one of the main components of the 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs, featuring Arc graphics architecture to bring Intel on par with AMD's and Apple's on-die GPU solutions This is all just a rumor for now but recently leaked platform details for Meteor Lake CPUs confirm that the consumer launch is expected sometime in the second half of 2023.
Intel Mobility CPU Lineup:
|CPU Family||Arrow Lake||Meteor Lake||Raptor Lake||Alder Lake|
|Process Node||Intel 20A '5nm EUV"||Intel 4 '7nm EUV'||Intel 7 '10nm ESF'||Intel 7 '10nm ESF'|
|CPU Architecture||Hybrid (Four-Core)||Hybrid (Triple-Core)||Hybrid (Dual-Core)||Hybrid (Dual-Core)|
|P-Core Architecture||Lion Cove||Redwood Cove||Raptor Cove||Golden Cove|
|Top Configuration||TBD||6+8 (H-Series)||6+8 (H-Series)||6+8 (H-Series)|
|Max Cores / Threads||TBD||14/20||14/20||14/20|
|Planned Lineup||H/P/U Series||H/P/U Series||H/P/U Series||H/P/U Series|
|GPU Architecture||Xe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'|
Xe3 Celestial "Xe-LPG"
|Xe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'||Iris Xe (Gen 12)||Iris Xe (Gen 12)|
|GPU Execution Units||192 EUs (1024 Cores)?||128 EUs (1024 Cores)||96 EUs (768 Cores)||96 EUs (768 Cores)|
LPDDR5X - 7400+
|Memory Capacity (Max)||TBD||96 GB||64 GB||64 GB|
|Thunderbolt 4 Ports||TBD||4||2||2|
|WiFi Capability||TBD||WiFi 6E||WiFi 6E||WiFi 6E|
|Launch||2H 2024?||2H 2023||1H 2023||1H 2022|