Intel has published its latest quarterly financials. On the surface, and going by the swanky infographic things are tickety-boo. Intel CEO Bob Swan started his results statement by proclaiming that "It was an excellent quarter, will above out expectations…" The chipmaker raked in record Q2 revenue of $19.7 billion (20 per cent up YoY), but some smaller business segments were significantly down, namely IoT and Mobileye. However, a bigger sting in the tail was hidden behind the statement that Intel was "accelerating 10nm product transition," as following closely behind in the highlights it admitted that "7nm product transition [is] delayed versus prior expectations".
Considering the 10nm roadmap and schedule first, Intel says it is increasing volumes and expanding its 10nm lineup. The product portfolio will consist initially of 10nm Tiger Lake CPUs, launching soon in a flotilla of laptops via Intel partners. Still planned for the end of 2020 is Intel's launch of the first 10nm-based server CPU 'Ice Lake'.
PC enthusiasts and DIYers will have to wait until H2 2021 for the first 10nm processor for desktop PCs. Early information about these 'Alder Lake' CPUs already seems to be seeping out. For example we have already seen indications that it will use the LGA1700 socket and will be a hybrid design. Intel says it will release a new 10nm-based server CPU, code-named 'Sapphire Rapids' in approx the same timescale.
So, it looks like Intel is having some 7nm transition difficulties. It states that the primary reason for slippage is production yields. This latest difficulty will take up to a year to correct; however Intel thinks it can start to introduce 7nm-based CPUs with just a 6-month delay. That sounds like we will see a limited market roll out until yields improve, which reminds me of the Ice Lake 10nm+ mobile CPU roll out.
Tech industry analyst Patrick Moorhead Tweeted about Intel's financial success as measured against expectations. However, he notes that the stock is getting "hammered" in the markets due to the 7nm delay statement. On the flip side, AMD shares are surging - up nearly 9 per cent in afterhours trading.