When Intel recently announced that it wanted to introduce something big, one should hardly have meant the structure widths of the chips. But that’s how it seems. Because the already late introduction of 7-nanometer technology is being postponed even further.
Intel management went public yesterday with its second-quarter results. Interest in these, however, evaporated quite quickly in view of a marginal note. The company had to admit that the target date for the introduction of chips with a 7nm structure width had to be postponed for another six months. This is despite the fact that you are already lagging far behind the competition.
Intel is working intensively on the process technologies but is not really making any progress. At 7nm you still have to deal with extremely high reject rates. The situation is now so serious that management is basically losing faith in its own capabilities. In this way, alternative plans are already being made that look like the fact that the production of some critical products is contracted out to contract manufacturers. Because while Intel currently comes to the point at the end of 2022 or even at the beginning of 2023 of being able to use 7nm processes for mass production, TSMC has long been using them.
Competition is technically clearly ahead
At Intel, there is currently a gradual changeover to 10 nanometers. The competitor AMD, on the other hand, delivers its latest processor generation with a 7nm design. And while Intel announced that it would launch Alder Lake series desktop CPUs with 10 nanometers in the second half of 2021, AMD plans to switch to 5 nanometers with the Zen 4 architecture by the end of next year. In view of this development, it is also understandable that Apple is tackling the next major changeover and prefers to say goodbye to the ARM warehouse, where continuous and rapid further development has been observed for years.
In light of this news, it ultimately didn’t help that Intel presented quite good numbers for the second quarter. The corona crisis caused the demand for capacity in the cloud data centers to increase massively, which brought Intel a 20 percent increase in sales to $19.7 billion. And profits also climbed properly – by 22 percent to $5.1 billion. The important technical progress cannot be bought with all the money. In view of the expectation of medium and long-term difficulties, the share price in the after-hours trading initially went down.
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