Intel Corp. had to delay its code-named “Broadwell” microprocessors by about a year because of yield issues with its 14nm manufacturing technology. The move has affected plans of PC makers and will have an impact on PC business this year. However, Intel’s dominant positions will hardly be threatened since the company is still ahead of the rest of the industry.
“Our leadership over the rest of the industry is extending,” said Stacy Smith, chief financial officer of Intel, in an interview with Business Insider. “We are not delayed relative to the industry. We are actually ahead of the industry.”
While Intel delayed high-volume launch of its “Broadwell” chips made using 14nm fabrication process with FinFET transistors by about a year, it should be noted that its rivals are only starting to manufacture chips using their FinFET technologies. Moreover, 14nm and 16nm FinFET technologies of Samsung/GlobalFoundries and TSMC rely on back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect layer of 20nm fabrication process, which means that they are less technologically advanced than Intel’s 14nm.
When it comes to performance and performance-per-watt, Intel’s chips are unrivalled nowadays. Microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices are significantly behind Intel’s Core i5 or Core i7, whereas chips based on ARM architecture cannot run Windows and mainstream programs.
Thanks to unsurpassed performance and consistent performance improvements, Intel believes that it will not lose its current customers and companies like Apple will continue to use its chips.
“For a customer like Apple you’d have to take a big step off performance to step off our architecture,” said Mr. Smith. “That is what in essence enables us to win across different customers.”
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KitGuru Says: While the lead of Intel over the rest of the industry is extending in many cases, it should be noted that the industry will inevitably create certain headwinds for Intel in order to avoid its total dominance on different markets. One can see that on the market of servers, where Intel controls 98 per cent of the CPU market.