Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021, 18:55 Hardware

Intel's Comeback Plan: Will New Road Map "Revitalize" The Failing Company?

15-20 years ago, Intel led the pack in the midst of the GHz race in the processor market. The company's most important goal at the time was to offer as high clock rates as possible – at the expense of energy cost and thermal intake. In reaction to Intel's strategy, AMD chose to stop documenting its products clock rates. Instead, the company choose to use values such as "2000+" – meant to indicate that the processor possessed more GHz than Intel's 2GHz chips. As of 2021, it's now Intel that's being forced to engage in such tactics against AMD. This time, however, it's not about GHz – it's about production technology.

New Designations For Structure Width
Structure width has recently become a much-discussed topic, with TSMC now taking Intel's place at the front of the line when it comes to semiconductor fabrication. Take for example the "Intel 7" – despite its deceptive name, it's not made with 7nm production process, rather with 10nm. The Intel 4 is similarly deceptively named as it is in actuality based on 7nm as opposed to the named after "4"nm production process. Intel wants to express that the absolute "nm" values don't necessarily mean anything in terms of performance, after all, Intel's 10nm chips are comparable to TSMC's 7nm.



Intel's road map for next year:

Production – A Big Part Of 2024
Possibly the largest announcement in the recently released road map carries the codename "Intel 20A". Intel promises great increases in innovation by 2024. The concrete plans involve the new "RibbonFET" transistor architecture – in which Gate-All-Around will be used for the very first time. This will decrease the size of things significantly, allowing for smaller structure widths and better efficiency and performance.

Preview of "Gate-All-Around" – Source:

Positive Perception Of Intel's Plans
According to analysts, Intel still has a chance at catching up to the rest of the market – as things currently stand. However, there's no hope of this happening before 2024, and even after that, the company would still be far from the top. It wouldn't be possible for Intel to re-establish its lost position as head of the market before 2025, and only if there aren't too many bumps or blunders along the way. The recent announcement from Intel has had a good reception and is seen as a sign that the company is still alive and willing to fight to regain its former glory.

Production For Amazon & Qualcomm
Another announcement has also been released by Intel. It's been known for a while now that Intel would like to perform individual contract work for companies as opposed to offering all customers the same set of standard solutions. Two big names have already taken Intel up on its offer – Qualcomm and Amazon. It's not yet known what quantities or products Qualcomm intends to purchase and there's no information concerning the Amazon deal other than the fact that it exists. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger released a statement detailing plans to cooperate intensively with the aforementioned companies for quite a while. Many more customers are expected to follow soon.

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