Rumor: Intel To Skip 10nm For Desktop CPUs, Will Offer 7nm Desktop CPUs in 2022 [Updated]


Update: Intel responded to the story: We continue to make great progress on 10nm, and our current roadmap of 10nm products includes desktop.

Intel seems to have dropped all plans for a 10nm desktop processor launch and are now aiming to release 7nm desktop processors in 2022. The information comes from Hardwareluxx who have got a tip from their trustworthy insiders that Intel's 10nm line of processors would miss out on a desktop launch entirely and users who are waiting for sub-14nm processors from Intel would have to wait till 2022.

Intel Reportedly Drops 10nm Desktop CPU Launch, Will Launch Their First Post-14nm (7nm) Desktop CPUs in 2022

The report says that Intel's 10nm supply just isn't enough to handle mass markets such as desktop at the moment which is why they will be offering 14nm replacements up until 2022. There are two 'S' desktop families which we already know about, which include Comet Lake-S (2020) and Rocket Lake-S (2021). Both lineups will be built on enhanced 14nm nodes and would offer a decent single-core and multi-core performance given the added number of cores and threads which many consumers are expecting.

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This simply means that an Intel 10nm desktop launch is out of the question, but where does Intel go with 7nm? Well, rumor has it that Intel's replacement to Rocket Lake-S would be Meteor Lake-S. The new processor lineup would be the first desktop outing since 2015's Broadwell to be based on a new process node and not a variation of 14nm (+++). The rumor mill has also hinted that while the Rocket Lake-S lineup would be based on 14nm, it is likely that Intel would port their newer core architecture down to 14nm to add some much-needed performance increments.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

Processor FamilyProcessor ArchitectureProcessor ProcessProcessors Cores (Max)Platform ChipsetPlatform SocketMemory SupportTDPsPCIe SupportLaunch
Intel Sandy BridgeSandy Bridge32nm4/86-SeriesLGA 1155DDR335-95WPCIe 3.02011
Intel Ivy BridgeIvy Bridge22nm4/87-SeriesLGA 1155DDR335-77WPCIe 3.02012
Intel HaswellHaswell22nm4/88-SeriesLGA 1150DDR335-84WPCIe 3.02013-2014
Intel BroadwellBroadwell14nm4/89-SeriesLGA 1150DDR365WPCIe 3.02015
Intel SkylakeSkylake14nm4/8100-SeriesLGA 1151DDR435-91WPCIe 3.02015
Intel Kaby LakeKaby Lake14nm+4/8200-SeriesLGA 1151DDR435-91WPCIe 3.02017
Intel Coffee LakeCoffee Lake14nm++6/12300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR435-95WPCIe 3.02017
Intel Coffee Lake RefreshCoffee Lake14nm++8/16300-SeriesLGA 1151DDR435-95WPCIe 3.02018
Intel Comet LakeComet Lake14nm++10/20400-SeriesLGA 1200?DDR435-127WPCIe 3.02020
Intel Rocket LakeRocket Lake14nm++10/20400-Series?LGA 1200?DDR4TBDPCIe 3.02021
Intel Meteor LakeMeteor Lake~7nmTBDTBDTBDDDR5TBDPCIe 5.0?2022

As for 2022's desktop CPU lineup, Meteor Lake's launch doesn't concide with any of the new cores that Intel is working on. The Golden Cove core which will be the successor to the Willow Cove core (Tiger Lake CPUs/ 10nm+) will be offered in 2021. Now we don't know whether Golden Cove core is another refined 10nm product or 7nm. What Intel has shown so far puts the Golden Cove core as a 10nm++ product but if it was 7nm than there's a slight chance that's what would be used to make Meteor Lake-S lineup of desktop processors, but a year later after its official introduction.

The other and most likely bet is that Ocean Cove, the generation after Golden Cove, would be 7nm based would be powering Meteor Lake-S desktop processors. The Ocean Cove core is an in-development project at Hillsboro, Oregon to deliver Intel's next-generation core design. This is also what a recently leaked client roadmap hinted at but we have to wait to see if that is true.

This more or less means that Intel would have to rely on their 'Financial Horsepower' to remain competitive against AMD for the next couple of years. We have already seen major changes in terms of pricing happening on the entire range of Xeon and Core processors. Intel is also most likely enabling multi-threading across their 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs which could help them retain their market share till 2022.

What would you do?