Intel’s CEO Rumored To Visit TSMC Next Month As 14th Gen Meteor Lake Allegedly Pushed Back to End of 2023

Intel's CEO Rumored To Visit TSMC Next Month As 14th Gen Meteor Lake Allegedly Pushed Back to End of 2023

Intel's CEO is rumored to visit Taiwan's TSMC (Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) as reports indicate an alleged delay in the production of the 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs.

Alleged 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs Delay To Late 2023 May Force Intel CEO To Vist TSMC To Revise 3nm Production Plans

Just a few hours ago, we reported that Intel's 4 process node which will feature 14th Gen Meteor Lake as the flagship product, is scheduled for mass production in the second half of 2022. Now, it has been reported by DigiTimes in a follow-up post that Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, might make a visit to Taiwan's TSMC to revise the plans for their 3nm production plans. The TSMC 3nm process node is expected to be utilized for the fabrication of the tiled-GPU that will be one of the four on-package chiplets for Meteor Lake. Following is a short summary of the report as posted by Twitter fellow, Retired Engineer:

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  • Internally, Intel has initiated "emergency correction" of its "platform blueprint' and "own process production capacity plan for the next 1 year. It is widely rumored that CEO Pat Gelsinger plans to visit Taiwan for the third time in August to meet with TSMC Chairman Mark Liu and CEO C.C. Wei to discuss these revised plans.
  • Intel's 14th-gen Meteor Lake originally planned to enter mass production at the end of 2022 for launch in 1 H'2023, has been delayed to the end of 2023. Since Meteor Lake's GPU tile is outsourced to TSMC, this delay will disrupt TSMC's 3nm plans.
  • According to industry sources, Intel will pay a heavy price if Meteor Lake suffers a delay. Intel and TSMC had already signed an outsourcing agreement elevating Intel to "heavenly king" customer status. Earlier, there were rumors that TSMC, upon confirming receipt of Intel's huge order, and in order to segregate from Apple, proceeded to convert what was originally planned as an R&D Center and mini-line (P8--P9, at Baoshan Fab2 gigafab expansion phase) into a second 3nm production site. Contractually, TSMC would have been on schedule to produce the 3nm GPU tile. However, if Intel's own Intel 4 compute tile is not ready for production due to "market conditions" and process technical problems, and Intel wishes TSMC to also delay production, then Intel will have to absorb all losses incurred.
  • But, there are also rumors that Intel is being forced to come up with another plan, which is to proceed with production of the 3nm GPU tile as originally planned, and re-target/outsource the compute tile to TSMC 5nm or even 3nm. This may cause Intel to "lose face" but will allow Intel to "temporarily catch its breath" and save costs.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is pictured at its headquarters, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Jan. 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

The report states that Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, will be visiting TSMC, which is based in Taiwan, next month for an 'emergency correction' of its own process production capacity plan for the next year. This will be Intel CEO's third visit to TSMC and the renegotiations mostly have to do with TSMC's 3nm process node which Intel had tapped for use on their Meteor Lake CPU's tiled-GPU. The tGPU is the codename for the tiled-graphics architecture which will be a separate chiplet from the main compute tile that is being fabricated on Intel's own 'Intel 4' or 7nm EUV process node.

Intel's 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs are said to be originally planned for launch in the first half of 2023 but that has allegedly been delayed to the second half of 2023 or even late 2023. So if Intel Meteor Lake chips suffer a delay, the company will have to pay a hefty price as the company had already signed an agreement with TSMC for the production outsourcing plans and was elevated to a 'heavenly king' status. Even more so, the company is allegedly being forced to continue not only with its 3nm Tiled-GPU design at TSMC but also shift the compute tiled to TSMC's 5nm or even 3nm process node which would mean that certain chips can end up being produced entirely at TSMC to save its own face and also save costs which it would otherwise have to incur from the delay.

An Intel Meteor Lake test chip from Fab 42. (Image Credits: CNET)

This is all just a rumor for now but recently leaked platform details for 13th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs confirm that the consumer launch is expected sometime in the second half of 2023. It is not exactly said when but a 2H 2023 will already be a delay if reports regarding Intel's plan to launch Meteor Lake CPUs in 1H 2023 are correct. Again, this is all just a rumor and we hope Meteor Lake CPUs go as planned without any production issues or delays.

Intel Mobility CPU Lineup:

CPU FamilyArrow LakeMeteor LakeRaptor LakeAlder Lake
Process NodeIntel 20A '5nm EUV"Intel 4 '7nm EUV'Intel 7 '10nm ESF'Intel 7 '10nm ESF'
CPU ArchitectureHybrid (Four-Core)Hybrid (Triple-Core)Hybrid (Dual-Core)Hybrid (Dual-Core)
P-Core ArchitectureLion CoveRedwood CoveRaptor CoveGolden Cove
E-Core ArchitectureSkymontCrestmontGracemontGracemont
Top ConfigurationTBD6+8 (H-Series)6+8 (H-Series)6+8 (H-Series)
Max Cores / ThreadsTBD14/2014/2014/20
Planned LineupH/P/U SeriesH/P/U SeriesH/P/U SeriesH/P/U Series
GPU ArchitectureXe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'
or
Xe3 Celestial "Xe-LPG"
Xe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'Iris Xe (Gen 12)Iris Xe (Gen 12)
GPU Execution Units192 EUs (1024 Cores)?128 EUs (1024 Cores)96 EUs (768 Cores)96 EUs (768 Cores)
Memory SupportTBDDDR5-5600
LPDDR5-7400
LPDDR5X - 7400+
DDR5-5200
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5-6400
DDR5-4800
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5X-4267
Memory Capacity (Max)TBD96 GB64 GB64 GB
Thunderbolt 4 PortsTBD422
WiFi CapabilityTBDWiFi 6EWiFi 6EWiFi 6E
TDPTBD15-45W15-45W15-45W
Launch2H 2024?2H 20231H 20231H 2022
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