We know that all silicon giants are trying to make their process nodes smaller and smaller every year. The reasons for this is very simple, better heat dissipation and more processing power. But, it seems that the biggest chip maker (Intel) is getting pushed back every year. They released the 9th gen mobile processors recently, which were boasting their old 14nm architecture. On the other hand, their biggest rival AMD is already focusing on the 7nm process from GlobarFoundries for 3rd gen Ryzen processors.
This is only the start of the story as the leaks regarding Intel’s future roadmap suggests that they will be following the 14nm process for their next releases too. While there’s nothing right with the fact that they “want” to stay with the older process, the only favorable inference that can be derived from this can be better clock speeds.
Intel has been very vocal regarding the use of the 10nm process for their Sunny Cove architecture in the past. The leaked roadmap suggests that they will not be able to stabilize the process node until after 2021.
Tweakers leaked the alleged roadmap; it details both desktop and mobile department releases for the future. While the legitimacy of any of these pictures can never be confirmed, the alleged roadmap is referenced with Intel’s SIP program with DELL, which adds credence to the leak
Starting with the desktop lineup, the current lineup consisting of processors having up to 8 multithreaded cores falls under the 9th gen coffee lake-S refresh. After this Intel will mainly focus on increasing the raw core count on their consumer lineup while sticking with the 14nm++ process. In Q2 of 2020, they will launch Comet lake-S processors which will have processors having up to 10 cores.
The roadmap suggests that Intel will be able to deliver processors fabbed under the 10nm process in 2022. Now, 2022 is the probable release year of their Ocean cove architecture, which will be two generations superior to the Sunny cove architecture.
The roadmap doesn’t have anything interested related to the Xeon E family too. The Xeon processors will be able to utilize the upcoming PCIe 4.0 interface by the start of 2021 while AMD is launching its X570 platform next month which will be compatible with the said interface.
The Mobile lineup weirdly enough seems more promising according to the roadmap. The top end mobile lineup featuring G/ H processors will get the Comet lake refresh in late 2020. Intel will be launching the Ice lake-U series processors having 15 to 25 Watt TDP. These processors will have limited production but a fresh architecture to begin with.
Lastly, Intel will be upgrading its integrated graphics as well. With the release of their GPU, they will change the way the integrated graphics work on the chipsets. Currently, we have “on-chip” graphics; these will be shifted to “off-chip” graphics, to attain better thermal and graphical performance. Same as what they did with the G-series Kaby Lake CPUs with VEGA graphics.