There has been plenty of speculation about Intel outsourcing CPU manufacturing to rivals such as TSMC, but recent comments made by incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger suggest that the company will likely continue leveraging internal fabs for its most cutting-edge processors. Gelsinger, who spoke during yesterday’s earnings webcast, revealed that he has looked into Intel’s 7-nanometer technology and is confident enough in the process to keep things in-house. That said, outsourcing is still very much on the table for other products.
“Based on initial reviews, I am pleased with the progress made on the health and recovery of the 7nm program,” Gelsinger said. “I am confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally. At the same time, given the breadth of our portfolio, it’s likely that we will expand our use of external foundries for certain technologies and products. We will provide more details on this, and our 2023 roadmap, once I fully assess the analysis that has been done and the best path forward.”
Current Intel CEO Bob Swan also confirmed that Intel’s first 10 nm CPU for desktops, Alder Lake, are on target for production in the second half of 2021. These CPUs are peculiar in that they’ll mix high-performance cores with high-efficiency cores. The platform will also reportedly introduce DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support.
“As we look ahead, we are excited about the capabilities we are bringing to customers with ‘Alder Lake’ for mobile and desktop PCs and ‘Sapphire Rapids’ for the data center,” Swan said. “These products take advantage of our enhanced SuperFin process technology and numerous architectural improvements, and both are broadly sampling to customers. We will qualify Alder Lake desktops and notebooks for production and begin our volume ramp in the second half of 2021. We expect production qualification of Sapphire Rapids at the end of 2021.”
You can check out an infographic of how Intel fared financially during Q4’20 below. Despite increasing competition, the company has managed to impress again with revenue increases as high as 39 percent YoY. Intel’s biggest segment remains its Client Computing Group, which earned 10.9 billion last quarter.