Coffee Lake points to issues with Intel’s 10nm process

Analysis: Not merely yields but far more fundamental issues

Intel - logoIntel is in a deep malaise at the moment and the new Coffee Lake exemplifies their pain. SemiAccurate thinks the problem is not just a new insertion into the roadmap, it goes a lot deeper than that.

Slip-sliding away:

If you look at the Intel roadmaps of late you will see slips, more slips, and yet more slips. Remember how Purley/Skylake-EP came out in 2H/15? And how the roadmap went Broadwell, Skylake, Cannon Lake, Ice Lake? Then it went Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby Lake, Cannon Lake, Ice Lake? Then it went Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby Lake, Cannon Lake, Coffee Lake, Ice Lake? And for those not catching the sarcasm earlier, Purley isn’t out yet and isn’t imminent, the neutered version is far from fully baked. And 2015 as ended already, really. [See link above.]

In case you are wondering about why the 14nm line is growing faster than PR’s excuses about how the ‘new’ chips are worth the silicon they are printed on, we gave you a hint earlier. Yes 10nm Cannon Lake chips are back in house and have been for a while. What is more important is a few quarters ago, Coffee Lake wasn’t on the roadmap, now it is. Either Intel is working very fast to bring exciting new technology to the market or something went bump in the night. Again for the sarcasm impaired, Intel hasn’t had an exciting consumer product for ~5 years.

PCWatch Intel roadmap slide with Coffee Lake

Graphic from PCWatch – Excellent article as usual

No bang from this Cannon:

Since Cannon Lake on 10nm is slated to come out before the 14nm Coffee Lake variants, it isn’t the process that went bump, right? Yes and no, but either way it is a bad thing for Intel,  “no bonus this year” bad. This is one of those multi-faceted issues that deal with the intersection of technology, finance, and fundamental laws of physics. Lets take a look at how this is going to affect the company in other ways.

Note: The following is analysis for professional level subscribers only.

Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate