How is AMD releasing 7nm CPUs next year and Intel's still stuck on 14nm?

poohbear

Platinum Member
Mar 11, 2003
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As the title says, what the heck happened? I'm still rocking my 4790k from 2014, and to think that intel has been stuck on 14nm for 4 years while AMD is surpassing them with 7nm next year is quite a shocker! Is intel really going to stick with 10nm or skip to 7nm? Did intel not care anymore? And now AMD is taking advantage of the situation like they did with the Athlon 64 waaaay back in the day?
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
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Looks to me like Intel's engineers got out-engineered by AMD's engineers (or something like that).

Maybe some promising tech they tried to develop didn't pan out and they were sent back to the drawing board without an immediate path to achieve 7nm.
 
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Dec 10, 2018
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Looks to me like Intel's engineers got out-engineered by AMD's engineers (or something like that).

Maybe some promising tech they tried to develop didn't pan out and they were sent back to the drawing board without an immediate path to achieve 7nm.
AMD does not do much work in foundry processes if at all; any out-engineering AMD did is all in the chip architecture, and how it fits into the process TSMC developed.

Another point that I think many have failed to realize is that Intel measures their processes differently than TSMC, Samsung, and GF. At this point 7nm, 10nm, 12nm, and 14nm are just marketing terms. It's been said that TSMC 12nm or something is comparable to Intel's 14nm processes (or something like that).

Who knows how TSMC 7nm will compare with Intel's 7nm?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
19,165
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As the title says, what the heck happened? I'm still rocking my 4790k from 2014, and to think that intel has been stuck on 14nm for 4 years while AMD is surpassing them with 7nm next year is quite a shocker! Is intel really going to stick with 10nm or skip to 7nm? Did intel not care anymore? And now AMD is taking advantage of the situation like they did with the Athlon 64 waaaay back in the day?
Intel was supposed to release their 10nm process in 2017, which would have been an industry leader in density and performance had it actually worked.

It didn't work.

Meanwhile, AMD managed to wiggle out of part of their agreement with GlobalFoundries and moved most of their CPU production to TSMC that has a working 7nm node. Note that had Intel released their 10nm node, Intel's node might be objectively "better" than TSMC 7nm in at least performance metrics. Maybe. But Intel hosed up that whole thing so they have nothing to show for it. They are stuck on 14nm until maybe 2021. We'll see if Intel releases anything new/better before then.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
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Intel was supposed to release their 10nm process in 2017, which would have been an industry leader in density and performance had it actually worked.

It didn't work.

Meanwhile, AMD managed to wiggle out of part of their agreement with GlobalFoundries and moved most of their CPU production to TSMC that has a working 7nm node. Note that had Intel released their 10nm node, Intel's node might be objectively "better" than TSMC 7nm in at least performance metrics. Maybe. But Intel hosed up that whole thing so they have nothing to show for it. They are stuck on 14nm until maybe 2021. We'll see if Intel releases anything new/better before then.
I am going to second this. Really has little to do with AMD personally except for being one of the two companies willing and able to work with TSMC at 7nm's introductory cost. Technically Apple beat both of them. This has to do with TSMC putting the resources in and hitting their target and Intel floundering for the first time in a really really long time.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
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Due to the competition Intel is able to sell three generations of 14nm right now,at normal intel prices per core if not higher then usual...they are selling so many units that they have to build a new fab to satisfy demand.
It doesn't make sense for them to not have problems with 10nm,they will continue to have problems until 14nm sales go down.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
19,165
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Due to the competition Intel is able to sell three generations of 14nm right now,at normal intel prices per core if not higher then usual...they are selling so many units that they have to build a new fab to satisfy demand.
It doesn't make sense for them to not have problems with 10nm,they will continue to have problems until 14nm sales go down.
That's an awfully rosy picture of how things are going at Intel these days.
 

PotatoWithEarsOnSide

Senior member
Feb 23, 2017
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What has Intel selling well at 14nm got with their complete inability to get 10nm to work?
They are having to refit the 10nm fabs to 14nm, primarily because they cannot get 10nm to work, and because they need to restore 14nm capacity having fitted out fabs for 10nm in their place.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
8,076
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Intel's 7nm is likely closer to TSMC's 5nm than their 7nm but Intel will be stuck on 14nm while AMD is on 7nm for quite awhile.
This is why they are delayed. Intel always lagged in density over TSMC. TSMC's 32/28nm generation was a mere 30% larger than Intel's 22nm process. It really didn't matter though, because Intel got theirs 1-1.5 years ahead of TSMC and it performed better which was good for Intel's bread-and-butter business.

So they wanted to catch up, and really catch all. So they said we'll get it 1.5 years earlier, have better density even at the same generation, all the while having the best performing transistors.

That's why 14nm got seriously delayed. Everyone forgot about the delays to 14nm, even though that was significant, because 10nm dwarfs 14nm in how bad the situation is. Sure, 14nm is small, but you got it delayed by 6 months, and only Atom cores benefit, so who the heck cares?

Then they doubled down on this density e-peen with 10nm. "We'll make 10nm dense as the next generation TSMC, while retaining performance" they said.

They became too overconfident, and lost sight with reality. Nothing to do with engineering and technology. Just egotistic and short-sighted thinkers. Kinda like genius teenagers. Yea they are smart in a category, but can they adult?
 
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cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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Is there a way back in the game for Intel? Are they pouring more money into process R/D? I read sometime back that Intel was gonna focus more on iot and less on desktop/mobile x86... Is that still a thing?
 

jpiniero

Lifer
Oct 1, 2010
11,322
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Is there a way back in the game for Intel? Are they pouring more money into process R/D? I read sometime back that Intel was gonna focus more on iot and less on desktop/mobile x86... Is that still a thing?
The next big thing for Intel is the Rapids (Sapphire/Granite). But those are server only products, and of course they need a workable fab to fab them on.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
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Intel's 7nm is likely closer to TSMC's 5nm than their 7nm but Intel will be stuck on 14nm while AMD is on 7nm for quite awhile.
We don't have much information on Intel's 7nm process (or TSMC's 5nm for that matter) but from the published specifications, what Intel had proposed for 10nm is pretty close to what TSMC has for their 7nm. There's likely a whole lot of room for differences beyond the raw physical metrics, but it's a close enough approximation to start with.

According to Intel's original schedule their 10nm was supposed to be out in 2015/2016, which would have put them about two years ahead of the competition, which is historically in line with the advantage that they had. Whatever the actual issues are, Intel hasn't been able to fix them and there's been some speculation that 10nm is issentially scrapped at this point.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
6,677
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Is there a way back in the game for Intel? Are they pouring more money into process R/D? I read sometime back that Intel was gonna focus more on iot and less on desktop/mobile x86... Is that still a thing?
IoT doesn't seem like a good idea as x86 has never been good at truly low power areas. That's not to say that Intel couldn't design something entirely new, but if history is any indication they've always tried to shoehorn x86 into areas where it didn't belong and have never had any success with it.

If Intel tries to prioritize IoT over the traditional desktop/laptop market with that same approach, consider that another major blunder to add to the pile.
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
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Due to the competition Intel is able to sell three generations of 14nm right now,at normal intel prices per core if not higher then usual...they are selling so many units that they have to build a new fab to satisfy demand.
It doesn't make sense for them to not have problems with 10nm,they will continue to have problems until 14nm sales go down.

That is ridiculous and a total untruth.
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,094
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Well, back to the topic...

Anyway....

I think AMD did the smart move when the went FABLESS. It allows them to switch fabs, or use both or all three. It's why they have a lead on Intel right now. I wonder if intel will go fabless?

Not to mention that China wants to jump into the game with both feet, no matter what the cost might be. Seems the majority of fabs going up are in China these days where money is no issue. Especially when you have the Chinese government welcoming any high tech firm with open arms while tossing money to it. If TSMC can pull off 5nm by the end of 2019, AMD will be on fire with both cpu and gpu builds.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,862
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Is there a way back in the game for Intel? Are they pouring more money into process R/D? I read sometime back that Intel was gonna focus more on iot and less on desktop/mobile x86... Is that still a thing?
All those billions Apple is pouring into TSMC and others could have been Intels... Hubris sucks if you have it. ;-)
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,094
190
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Ever since intel lost the mobile (cellphone) market ... they pumped billions into it before throwing in the towel. It seems to me anyway, intel was never the same and they just rode the quad processors into the foreseeable future. Now that they actually have to step up to AMD, it looks like the money is drying up quickly ... for them to dump a pile of cash into more chip design to match ThreadRipper 32 core CPU, while trying to dial in 7nm...when they couldn't even dial up 10nm.

I'm not a stock analyst or any future pro... but... (to me) intel seems like if they don't create some magic monster CPU to keep them alive, they may be in trouble. I always say hindsight is 20/20 and maybe I'm wrong. Let's hope so, since, keeping them alive will keep AMD innovating... Can't have someone say, well, we cornered the market, now we can relax (like intel thought they did for many years)...
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
8,076
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IoT doesn't seem like a good idea as x86 has never been good at truly low power areas.
IoT isn't only made up of tiny microcontrollers the type that goes in the Arduinos. They have a pretty sizable presence in the bigger IoT market.
 

ozzy702

Golden Member
Nov 1, 2011
1,147
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If TSMC can pull off 5nm by the end of 2019, AMD will be on fire with both cpu and gpu builds.
TSMC won't be on 5nm until 2021 which is likely when Intel will be on their comparable 7nm. End of 2019 will not happen, not even close.
 
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TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
3,549
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What has Intel selling well at 14nm got with their complete inability to get 10nm to work?
They are having to refit the 10nm fabs to 14nm, primarily because they cannot get 10nm to work, and because they need to restore 14nm capacity having fitted out fabs for 10nm in their place.
When and which ones? And most importantly why? If they knew that 10nm isn't ready yet why would they switch all? many? some? fabs over to 10nm?
As long as you are researching a new technology you only give it as many resources as you think are enough to do the job,you don't destroy your ability to make your main line of product just to make some experimental product.
You guys are applying kindergarten logic to giant cooperations.
Intel converted or added a small portion of FAB to 10nm to get ready for 10nm since years ago, that doesn't mean that they transferred their production to 10nm.

And for your first question,intel is going to milk 14nm for as long as possible, if intel can sell people 14nm against AMDs 7nm then intel will most certainly do that.
 

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