Shame and Courage: Intel Faces Process Competition

Speaking to investors at a Morgan Stanley conference, George Davis, Intel’s chief financial officer, admitted that Intel had fallen behind its rivals and would take at least two years to catch up,media reported. Davis’ comments point to Intel lagging behind rival TSMC in chip technology, which will produce 7nm as early as 2018 and will be mass-produced this year.

Shame and Courage: Intel Faces Process Competition

Infographic (from: Intel official website)

Intel had planned to launch the 7nm process in 2021, and the 5nm process has not yet been launched.

It is well known that Intel has been leading the industry in chip manufacturing. Intel’s rare public “weakness” has been interpreted as a “heroic twilight”. But the author believes that Intel’s move is intended to “know shame and then brave, know weak and strong.” It is not a shame to admit that backwardness is not a matter of being able to achieve innovation and development only if you correctly recognize yourself.

It is true that advanced chip processes will lead to more market-first-, user-first-, but today’s single technology or technical indicators are not enough to meet the diverse computing needs of the future. As an industry leader, Intel is gearing up for the transition from PC-centric to data-centric, with six technology pillars of process and packaging, architecture, memory and storage, interconnect, security, and software to address the explosive growth of future data volumes, data diversity, and the diversity of processing methods.

Rare public “weakness”

On March 3rd Robert Swan, Intel’s chief executive, said the company’s current problems were not just a revival of rival TSMC, but also a re-invention of the company’s culture , in the hope of more cohesive ness. It also urged 110,000 employees to be more open about potential problems. “If you have a problem, put it on the table,” says Robert Swan.

The shift in corporate culture is affecting everything from communication between various parts of the company to the way chips are designed. Perhaps benefiting from the change, Davis, speaking to investors at a Morgan Stanley conference on March 6th, admitted in a rare admission that his chip technology lags behind its competitors. ‘To regain leadership, we’ve accelerated the overlap between 10nm and 7nm and 7nm and 5nm, ‘ Davis admits.

It is reported that Intel’s direct competitor TSMC launched a 7nm process OfTSCo in 2019 Zen 2 architecture products, which not only have advantages in the process and performance, and even in the market share has gained, which has been very rare in the past.

Davis revealed that Intel’s decline in CPU market share is mainly related to their own, because of its own lack of capacity, especially in the core of the less-advanced market, Intel’s strategy to respond to the lack of capacity is to prioritize the supply of high-order products, so that the entry-level CPU market is the most in short supply. “Intel will address the lack of capacity by 2020 and regain the entry-level CPU market share it lost before.” “

On the market competition, Davis said, Intel is not afraid of competitive pressure, in part because Intel has formed a large user base over the years, stability is difficult to shake. Second, even if the processor is not as efficient as a youer, consider the benefits of the entire platform, such as supporting a particular random access memory or a particular set of optimization instructions.

In the future process technology development, Davis revealed that in addition to the current 10nm capacity is accelerating, Intel will also restore the process technology leading key parts of the future more advanced process development, Intel is expected to launch 7nm process technology in 2021.

Actively Embrace Change

Intel is not stuck in one area, even though it is overtaken by its rivals.

Data volumes are growing at an alarming rate, with IDC predicting that the world will generate 175 ZettaBytes in 2025, an annual compound annual growth of nearly 61%, while new applications such as AI, 5G, autonomous driving, and the Internet of Things are demanding new computing.

With the exponential growth of data in the intelligent age and the diversification of data patterns, a more data-centric computing landscape is beginning to emerge. Under this situation, a single technology or technical indicators are not enough to meet the future of the ubiquitous diversified computing needs, with the advent of hyperhetdage of the time has come.

Hyperhegeneic computing requires chips with multiple architectures, deployed already produced chips on multiple nodes, and requires unified heterogeneous computing software for developers to make better use of them. In response, Intel proposes to use six different technology pillars to address the diversity of data in the future, the explosive growth of data volume, and the diversity of processing methods.

Jason Gorss, Director of Technical Marketing, Intel’s Process and Packaging Division, emphasized that “in the PC era, Intel’s technological innovations relied heavily on increased transistor density and innovation in CPU architecture.” But as we move toward a data-driven era, a whole new path must be established, and that’s why the six pillars of Intel’s technology are the new goals.” In Intel’s view, “these six pillars of technology are interrelated, tightly coupled, and a complete, layer-by-layer innovation solution.” “

Intel believes that these six pillars of technology will bring exponential innovation and are the main drivers of Intel’s next decade and even the next 50 years. With the six pillars of technology being released on Technology Day 2018, Intel is actively pushing core technologies to expand into a wider range of applications to create a more complete technology ecosystem. Today, Intel is transforming successfully with six pillars of technology and leading the industry toward a “superheta era.”