Intel to Begin Trial Production of 10nm This Quarter

Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process has served two generations of CPUs including Broadwell and Skylake. Their 14nm Kaby Lake will also arrive later this year, and the company is officially entering 10nm fabrication process in 2017. But we kind of get confused that there’ll be a 14nm Coffee Lake CPU in the year of 2018. What is the chip giant gearing up?

Anyway, Intel has just confirmed that it’s beginning the trial production of 10nm processors this quarter, and mass production will follow in the first half of next year. The company also assures us that the rollout time to 10nm will be as much as 50% faster than 14nm. 

As an optimized version of Skylake, Kaby Lake will bring some performance improvements, but not sure how much yet. In fact Intel has confirmed their Kaby Lake series have started shipping out to customers.

If you want something really new, you’ll have to rely on the 10nm Cannonlake processors which should be able to enter volume production by the end of 1H 2017. They’re starting up the 10nm factory this quarter and the costs of trial production has been counted in the financial outlook for the third quarter of 2016.

TSMC and Samsung also plan to jump to 10nm in 2017, and they’re very likely to start volume production of 10nm ahead of Intel. TSMC will possibly manufacture A11 processors for Apple by using 10nm process, as well as MediaTek X30 and HiSilicon Kirin 970. Samsung has also got a heavy buyer, Qualcomm.

On the other side, a few semiconductor companies such as AMD and GlobalFoundries would prefer to bypass 10nm and enter 7nm directly.

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