Intel Corp. delayed mass production of 14nm chips by nearly a year because of insufficient yields. According to a media report, something similar may happen to its 10nm manufacturing technology.
Intel is setting up a small pilot line for 10nm production in D1X development fab in Hillsboro, Oregon, reports SemiconductorEngineering. Volume production of chips using 10nm process technology is expected to start at fab 28 in Kiryat Gat, Israel. As a part of its plans to spend $6 billion on fab 28 upgrades, Intel was expected to make fab tool purchases for high-volume manufacturing at 10nm in March. However, it is now reported that those acquisitions will not happen until December of this year, which could potentially delay volume production of chips using 10nm fabrication process.
Officially, Intel does not disclose exact plans regarding 10nm manufacturing technology, but it is highly likely that the first products made using the tech will be available in 2017.
“We have not disclosed a schedule for our 10nm process and we won’t engage in speculation about it.”
Previously it was expected that Intel will roll-out its 10nm chips in early 2017. But if the company significantly delays mass production, actual products will emerge only in late 2017. Intel will use 10nm process tech to make its code-named “Cannonlake” processors.
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KitGuru Says: It is not surprising that transitions to newer process technologies are getting harder for manufacturers. What remains to be seen is whether Intel will drop its “tick – tock” strategy and will use one process tech to make more than two generations of its chips.