DigiTimes, a Taiwanese media outlet with a fairly reliable history, reports that it expects Intel’s CPU supply to continue until the end of 2020. It’s no surprise that Bob Swan, the company’s chief executive, has been able to explain the situation frankly. Multiple reports elsewhere have also suggested that a growing number of partners are considering favouring the AMD camp.
(Photo from AnandTech, via WCCFTech)
The capacity at Intel’s chip plant is already saturated to meet excess demand. But for OEMs and AIB vendors to maintain shipments, they must switch to AMD, meaning competitors will take more market share than Intel previously held.
In addition, OEM/AIB vendors can’t afford the premium for Intel chips, and AMD offers a more cost-effective alternative. Against this backdrop, Intel may have to wait until the second half of 2021 to turn things around again.
According to a recent report by Gartner, Intel has regained the top spot, but it also means that its plant capacity has reached its limit. However, in terms of process processes, the 7nm product line based on Extreme UltraViolet Lithography (EUV) should not be affected by the 10nm delay.
As the roadmap makes, Intel plans to release its first 7nm product in the fourth quarter of 2021, while the CEO frankly admits that it has lost a significant portion of its CPU market share.
Bob Swan attributes the problem to three areas, starting with the increase in demand for CPUs and server chips (21%), much faster than expected in 2018 (only 10%).
The second is Intel’s 100% market share in smartphone modulation solution modulation, but this puts a lot of demand pressure on its own factory.
The third is the 10nm process delay, which brings a significant performance boost to the previous generation’s 14nm process. Especially as the number of cores increases, so does the chip size.
While much of the content is old-fashioned, it’s the first time Intel has given a good reason to be unable to meet capacity requirements. On the side also reflects why the company restarted the 22nm production line to fill the 14nm supply and demand gap.
If all goes well, Intel is expected to fully switch to the 7nm EUV process (approximately equivalent to TSMC’s 5nm process) in Q4 2021 and enable the 5nm process (approximately 3nm of TSMC) by 2024.