Intel has previously announced a 7nm process in 2021, with the first product being the Ponte Vecchio acceleration card for data center use. The 5nm process after 7nm is even more important because Intel will abandon FinFET transistors to GAA transistors at this node.
With the upgrade of the process, the production of transistors is also difficult, Intel first at the 22nm node of the first FinFET process, then called 3D transistors, that is, the original plane transistor into a three-dimensional FinFET transistor, improve performance and reduce power consumption.
FinFET transistors have since become the world’s leading fab of choice, using the current 7nm and 5nm processes.
Intel has previously mentioned that the 5nm process is under development, but has not released details, and the latest news is that their 5nm process will abandon FinFET transistors and switch to GAA surround gate transistors.
GAA transistors also have a variety of technical routes, having previously mentioned that their GAA process can improve performance by 35 percent, reduce power consumption by 50 percent and reduce chip area by 45 percent, but this is compared to their 7nm process and is preliminary data.
Given Intel’s strength in process technology, the improvement in their GAA process performance should be more pronounced.
If the GAA process can be followed up at the 5nm node, Intel’s official commitment to “5nm process to regain leadership” is not difficult to understand, because the GAA process they are also relatively early to follow up.
As for the 5nm process, there is no clear timetable, but Intel previously mentioned that after 7nm the process cycle will return to the previous two-year upgrade rhythm, that is, as soon as 2023 will see Intel’s 5nm process.