Intel is already delaying its 7nm processors

Intel reported its quarterly earnings today, and it offered some bad news on its upcoming products. Its 7nm processors are already delayed six months beyond its targeted release, and this is due to the yield being a full year behind the company's target, as noted in the press release.

This isn't particularly surprising, given that its 10nm chips were delayed for years. We finally started to see 10nm last year with Ice Lake, but Intel struggled to make enough of them to the point where it had to also make a 14nm line of U- and Y-series processors. Moreover, aside from the U- and Y-series, the entire 10th-gen lineup is built on a 14nm node.

The firm should be expanding on that soon, although not completely. With 11th-gen processors, at least the entire lineup of U- and Y-series chips should be on a 10nm node, and it has plans for Ice Lake server chips this year. Desktop processors will still be 14nm in the next generation, but in 2021 H2, the company will release its 10nm Alder Lake S processors.

Of course, the real issue is that the rest of the market is already looking beyond 7nm nodes. Qualcomm introduced the first 7nm mobile PC chip with the Snapdragon 8cx in December 2018. And in January 2020, AMD, Intel's chief competitor in the x86 space, actually introduced 7nm x86 processors. The mobile market is the same, with 7nm being the current standard for Apple, Samsung, TSMC, and more.

Intel, unfortunately for it, is stuck in a place where it's still just getting into 10nm nodes for the foreseeable future.

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