There were news reports last evening that Intel is skipping its 10nm processors for desktops and will just focus on 7nm chips for the specific segment, which is set to launch by 2022. The company’s struggles with 10nm have been well-documented and the recent news just added fuel to that fire. If Intel was ditching its 10nm node, then it meant that its 10 nm microarchitectures, “Ice Lake” and “Tiger Lake” were confined to only mobile platforms. For the desktop platform, it would be derivatives of the 14nm “Skylake”.
Some reports didn’t say anything about skipping but suggested that the company won’t be able to launch it at their previously scheduled time frames.
The company has taken the challenge of migrating from the 14nm to 10nm manufacturing process, which is more advanced and has high clock rates. As these news reports start coming out claiming to be from a trustworthy insider source, Intel came out and rubbished all such claims.
It made a statement to Digital Trends, which said, “We continue to make great progress on 10nm, and our current roadmap of 10nm products includes the desktop. The benefits of any new process technology are realized across different products to meet varying customer needs over time. For example, the new 10th Gen Intel Core processors (Ice Lake) for mobile clients are designed for outstanding graphics performance and deliver up to 2x graphics performance while maintaining platform power efficiency.”
With this statement, the company contradicts all the news reports that were making rounds since last evening. There have been such rumors floating in the past too, but as Intel’s official statement was loud and clear, we believe that the work on 10nm desktop chips is on track.
This time around, the claims of Intel fixing its desktop development of 10nm cores came from “Insiderkreisen” speaking to Andreas Schilling at HardwareLuxx. As Andreas Schilling was right multiple times in the past on CPU topics, it was assumed that he might be accurate this time too. The other thing that fuelled this fire was that Intel’s well-known struggle to hit the required clock speeds for 10nm desktop chip.
Though these news feed turned out to be rumor with Intel coming out with an official statement, had it been true it would be bad as then Comet Lake-S and Rocket Lake-S would be used until 2022 when 7nm chips running with Meteor Lake would be launched. Both Lake-S and Rocket Lake-S is using the existing Skylake CPU architecture. It means that for close to three years they will be filling the gap.
However, all these turned out to be speculation as of now and the company still continues to work on its promise that we will get 10nm gaming chips and see the Sunny Cove microarchitecture on the desktop.