After years of delay, US chipmaker Intel Corp yesterday said it is now shipping its 10-nanometer (nm) processors, codenamed “Ice Lake,” to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the production of premium laptop computers.
Intel has struggled to bring 10nm processors to volume production since it launched its first version of 14nm processors in 2014.
It usually takes two to three years for semiconductor firms to migrate to next-generation process technology, broadly following Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles about every two years.
Photo: Chris Stowers, AFP
Intel’s 10nm processors are roughly equivalent to 7nm chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電).
However, TSMC started shipping its 7nm chips for mobile devices last year and plans to ramp up production of 5nm chips early next year in a bid to unseat Intel’s long-held leadership in the industry.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) on Monday announced at Computex Taipei that it is to ship its first 7nm processors, which use TSMC technology, for notebook computers in July, in another challenge to Intel’s 10nm processors.
“We are really pleased today to launch our brand-new 10th generation core Ice Lake processors. It’s our most integrated SoC [system on chip] we have ever built. And also, it is the first one that brings accelerated AI [artificial intelligence] to the PC ecosystem,” Intel client computing group senior vice president Gregory Bryant said in a keynote address at Computex.
“We are in production and now shipping to customers,” he said.
Intel chief executive officer Bob Swan early last month told investors that the firm planned to ship its first Ice Lake processors for notebook computers “later this year” and for servers next year.
Intel yesterday said first batch of upscale notebook computers powered by the new processors are set to hit the market by the year-end holiday season.
More than 100 firms that have participated in Project Athena to develop next-generation laptops — including Dell Inc, HP Inc, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) — will be ready with new laptops by the end of this year, Intel said.
Lenovo senior vice president of consumer devices Johnson Jia (賈朝暉) yesterday demonstrated its new Yoga S940 laptop, based on Intel’s Project Athena, at Computex, and he also helped launch Lenovo’s first 5G-capable laptop equipped with Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon 8cx chips.
Intel yesterday launched 11 new Ice Lake processors for its Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 brands.
For gamers and computer enthusiasts, it unveiled the new special edition of the 9th-generation Intel Core i9-9900KS, that delivers all-core turbo at 5 gigahertz, and its Performance Maximizer.
It also launched Intel Core vPro processors, aimed at professionals.
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