Intel Rumored To Ditch Its Own Intel 20A Process In Favor Of TSMC’s 3nm Node For 15th Gen ‘Arrow Lake’ Desktop CPUs

Intel is set to make major changes with their forthcoming CPU lineups. Starting with the 14th genMeteor Lake‘, team blue will offer back to back architectural changes. Meteor Lake will move to the ‘Intel 4′ process, which on-paper is a 7nm node, however, it almost matches a 4nm process density wise. The 15th gen ‘Arrow Lake‘ CPUs are expected to leverage Intel’s 20A technology, however, recent rumours suggest otherwise. Allegedly, Intel is dropping their own process and looking at TSMC’s offerings.

Arrow Lake with TSMC’s 3nm Process

OneRaichu on Twitter states that, the high-end mobile Arrow Lake counterparts will ship with Intel’s own 20A node. However, the Arrow Lake-S (Desktop) processors will use TSMC’s N3 process. A few people suggest that maybe 20A lags behind in clock speeds or suffers from low volume/yields. 20A is Intel’s attempt at a 2nm process node, however, what’s interesting is that they could have used a custom ‘Intel 3‘ process. But instead, they are now rumoured to go with TSMC’s fabrication technology. This does put a few question marks against Intel’s foundry claims.

All CPUs Post Raptor-Lake Will Be Different

Team blue will make the shift to a chiplet based design with Meteor Lake, much like AMD. It’s time Intel has finally decided to move on from the old monolithic architecture. This new MCM design is codenamed ‘Foveros‘, read more about that here

Similarly, Meteor Lake is equipped with a triple hybrid architecture featuring never-before seen LPE cores. Based on the leaked mobile-CPU specifications, each Meteor Lake die will pack 2 of these LPE cores. These cores are rumoured to be present on the SoC-LP tile. Whereas, the main performance and efficient cores will be situated on a different, Compute Tile.  

A Visualization for Intel’s Foveros | Intel

In addition, Intel is introducing a new transistor namely ‘RibbonFET‘ planned to arrive with their 20A process. It is still unclear whether Intel is actually planning on switching over to TSMC, as this is just a rumor. The 14th gen and 15th gen processors will be supported across the LGA 1851 socket. Meteor Lake is expected to arrive sometime in 2023. Arrow Lake, if no foundry or yield issues arise, could retail as early as 2024.

CPU GenerationCodenameProcess NodePerformance Core MicroarchitectureEfficient Core MicroarchitectureArchitectureRelease Date
13th GenerationRaptor LakeIntel 7 (10nm)Raptor CoveGracemontHybrid (Dual Core)Launched
14th GenerationMeteor LakeIntel 4 (7nm)Redwood CoveCrestmontHybrid (Triple Core)2023
15th GenerationArrow LakeIntel 20A (2nm)/TSMC 3nmLion CoveSkymontHybrid (Quad Core)2024

Abdullah Faisal

With a love for computers since the age of five, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.
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