At its Q2, 2020 earnings call on Thursday, Intel announced that its 7nm CPUs have been delayed by at least six months. The company was expected to launch them in early 2022, but with the latest roadblock, Intel says that they won’t be released until late 2022 or early 2023. Intel’s press release further says that yields for its 7nm process are now twelve months behind the company’s internal targets.
According to Intel: “The company’s 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations. The primary driver is the yield of Intel’s 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company’s internal target”.
The reason for the roadblock is apparently a ‘defect mode’ in the company’s 7nm process. That’s according to CEO, Bob Swan, who said that the fault caused yield degradation issues. As part of contingency plans, Swan said that Intel might consider using third-party foundries to manufacture the chips. The company will also use third-party foundries to manufacture its upcoming 7nm Ponte Vecchio GPUs. According to Swan, these are on track for a late-2021 launch.
Intel’s first set of 7nm CPUs will be meant for consumers, meaning, they’ll target client-side desktops and laptops. The server chips, meant for data-centers, will likely ship the following year if everything goes according to plan from here. Meanwhile, Intel is expected to start shipping its first 10nm desktop CPUs, codenamed ‘Alder Lake’, in late 2021. The company is also expected to launch its Tiger Lake CPUs on September 2.