Intel’s revised roadmap looks beyond 1 nanometer chips

Forget about “SuperFin Enhanced, ” the previous specify for the node powering Intel’s upcoming 10 nm Alder Lake processors. Now, that node is just called “Intel 7, ” according to the company’s rewritten roadmap. But don’t extend thinking that aims Intel is somehow delivering a 7nm processor early — its long-delayed “Rocket Lake” 7nm chipping still won’t ship until 2023, and its node has been renamed to “Intel 4. ” Confused yet? It’s almost like Intel is trying to attach a new quantity to these upcoming concoctions, so we’ll forget it’s losing the cringing transistor combat against AMD.

But Intel’s prospects are more interesting as we look ahead to 2024, when the company expects to finalize the design for its first chippings with transistors smaller than 1 nanometer. They’ll calculated by angstroms, instead. The “Intel 20 A” node will be powered by “RibbonFET” transistors, the company’s firstly new structure since the arrival FinFET in 2011. It’ll be coupled with PowerVia, a technology that can move power delivery to the rear of a chip wafer, which should see signal transmitting more efficient.

Pat Gelsinger IntelIntel

“Building on Intel’s unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, we are accelerating our invention roadmap to ensure we are on a clear path to process execution leader by 2025, ” Intel’s new CEO Pat Gelsinger( above) said during the “Intel Accelerated” livestream today. “We are leveraging our unparalleled pipe of innovation to deliver technology boosts from the transistor up to the system level. Until the periodic table is depleted, we will be relentless in our following of Moore’s Law and our route to innovate with the magic of silicon.”

Before it contacts the angstrom era of chips, though, the company also plans to release a processor with an “Intel 3” node in 2023. You can think of it as a super-powered version of its 7nm building, with around an 18 percent operation dominance watt increase over Intel 4. It’ll likely complete the timing spread between Rocket Lake chips in 2023 and the Intel 20 A makes in 2024. Intel is also daring to call its shot beyond 2024: it’s too “workin on” an “Intel 18 A” node that’ll further improve on its RibbonFET design.

For buyers, this roadmap means you can expect microchips to get steadily faster and more efficient over the next five years. If anything, the announcements today show that Intel is trying to move beyond the 10 nm and 7nm postponements that have bird-dog it for ages.

As we’ve previously reasoned, it’s ultimately a good thing for the tech industryif Intel can finally regain its position. Its$ 20 billion investment in two Arizona-based fabrication seedswas a clear sign that Gelsinger aimed to bring the company into brand-new country. But now that it’s laid out a new timeline, there’ll be even more pressure for Intel not to let things slip once again.

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