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Intel: We will lead the world to 10nm microprocessors

Intel Corp. said on Tuesday that it would be the first company to start volume production of chips using 10nm fabrication technology. The company has already demonstrated the first wafers processed using 10nm tech, now it revealed that it will gradually increase its investments in the forthcoming technology in the coming quarters.

“We have led the world to 14nm and plan to do the same with 10nm process technology,” said Stacy Smith, chief financial officer of Intel, during the company’s quarterly conference call with investors and financial analysts.

Back in September the company showcased its first wafers processed using 10nm fabrication technology, but it did not reveal any details about the process or its roadmap. This time the company said that it would gradually increase spendings associated with the 10nm ramp up starting the fourth quarter and over the next two years, which indicates that the first commercial 10nm chips could emerge on the market in late 2016.

“In the fourth quarter, you are seeing the front edge of the startup costs associated with the 10nm and that is kind of right in-line with the historical timing of what you would expect,” said Mr. Smith. “We [will] talk about how that [costs] might look over the next couple of years but we are seeing at least the front edge at the time I think you would expect.”

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It is noteworthy that Intel did not reveal anything about possible setbacks for its 10nm because it is getting harder and harder to adopt new process technologies. Earlier the chip giant had to delay its code-named Broadwell microprocessors by about a year because of issues with 14nm manufacturing technology and yields.

The only thing currently known about Intel’s 10nm production tech is that it will continue to use FinFET transistors and will not rely on EUV [extreme ultraviolet] lithography.

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KitGuru Says: Looks like Intel’s Cannonlake/Airlake microprocessors will hit the market exactly as planned, about a year after Skylake, which is due in the second half of 2015.

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