Intel hosted its Accelerated event earlier this week, with the silicon manufacturer unpacked its revised roadmap for processors, along with announcing some projects it plans to undertake in order to reclaim its position as one of the top foundries in the world.
“Building on Intel’s unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, we are accelerating our innovation roadmap to ensure we are on a clear path to process performance leadership by 2025,” noted CEO Pat Gelsinger during the global webcast.
“We are leveraging our unparalleled pipeline of innovation to deliver technology advances from the transistor up to the system level. Until the periodic table is exhausted, we will be relentless in our pursuit of Moore’s Law and our path to innovate with the magic of silicon,” he added.
To that end Intel showcased a handful of innovations, including the former SuperFin Enhanced node which has rebranded as Intel 7 and will be used in the company’s upcoming 10nm Adler Lake chips. As for the 7nm Rocket Lake chips, those are only expected to be available come 2023, with its node now renamed Intel 4.
Confusing we know, but the company was not done there.
Looking beyond 2023, Intel also confirmed that it is working on a chip that is smaller than 1nm and features a node dubbed Intel 20A, which utilises RibbonFET and PowerVia.
“RibbonFET, Intel’s implementation of a gate-all-around transistor, will be the company’s first new transistor architecture since it pioneered FinFET in 2011. The technology delivers faster transistor switching speeds while achieving the same drive current as multiple fins in a smaller footprint,” explains the silicon maker.
“PowerVia is Intel’s unique industry-first implementation of backside power delivery, optimizing signal transmission by eliminating the need for power routing on the front side of the wafer. Intel 20A is expected to ramp in 2024. The company is also excited about the opportunity to partner with Qualcomm using its Intel 20A process technology,” it adds.
This brings us to one of the aforementioned projects that Intel announced at Accelerated, with Qualcomm set to receive chips in the coming years. With Qualcomm branching further outside the mobile space, the deliver of Intel-manufactured chips brings with it some interesting opportunities in the notebook and PC environment.
While the announcement of new architectures, transistors and chips are indeed encouraging, it remains to be seen whether Intel can deliver on the revised roadmap. The company’s recent history in terms of keeping to timelines has proved a little spotty, while competitors have been able to push ahead of the company.
Either way, the silicon maker landscape post-pandemic will be intriguing to see develop.