How hard is AMD laughing right now? During today’s Q2’20 earnings webcast, CEO Bob Swan revealed that Intel would be delaying its 7 nm processors again due to a defect in the process, which degraded chip yields. Apparently, these CPUs won’t be released until late 2022 or early 2023 now! Wow, just wow.
“We are seeing an approximate six-month shift in our 7nm-based CPU product timing relative to prior expectations,” Swan explained. “The primary driver is the yield of our 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind our internal target. We have identified a defect mode in our 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation. We’ve root-caused the issue and believe there are no fundamental roadblocks, but we have also invested in contingency plans to hedge against further schedule uncertainty. We’re mitigating the impact of the process delay on our product schedules by leveraging improvements in design methodology such as die disaggregation and advanced packaging. We have learned from the challenges in our 10nm transition and have a milestone-driven approach to ensure our product competitiveness is not impacted by our process technology roadmap.”
“We now expect to see initial production shipments of our first Intel-based 7nm product, a client CPU in late 2022 or early 2023. We are also focused on maintaining an annual cadence of significant product improvements independent of our process roadmap, including the holiday refresh window of 2022. In addition, we expect to see initial production shipments of our first Intel-based 7nm data center CPU design in the first half of 2023.”
What’s interesting is that AMD’s roadmaps are pointing to a 2022 release for its “Zen 4” processors, which will be built on a 5 nm process. How will Intel catch up?