Intel is among the first companies to start developing EUV technology back in the 1990s. But the company hasn’t been able to deliver extreme ultraviolet lithography, taking minor strides in the field.
According to Mark Li, an electronics engineer, an analyst with Bernstein, Intel, the once largest manufacturer of computer chips is having issues with its 10nm chips yet again.
The company will not be able to implement EUV anytime soon. The tech is planned for its 7nm chips which are still way off considering they are having issues with 10nm. Meanwhile, rival Samsung and TSMC are pushing their tech and making progress to deliver EUV in the next two years. Analysts believe Intel has lost its touch and is no longer the manufacturing leader it once was.
Mark Li believes Samsung will introduce 7nm after TSMC but it will feature EUV.
What Happened With Intel’s 10nm?
Intel’s problem began with general delays faced by its 10nm line. It takes several years to get foundry for a new process node running and bring additional tools online. Plans are made years in advance by tech companies for specific characteristics of each node.
One can retrofit a node with new technology but the process is both expensive and time-consuming. Intel has been struggling with 10nm since 2015. The original plan to launch 10nm in 2016 didn’t pan out.
7nm was scheduled to arrive by 2018-2019 with EUV implemented. If Intel was able to stick to its timeline we would have seen 7nm EUV from Intel by now or somewhere around the launch of Samsung and TSMC’s nodes. TSMC’s first 7nm won’t be using EUV but its later, 7FF+ is going to.
The difference between 7FF and 7FF+ is reportedly minor. The company (TSMC) hasn’t shared any details other than saying the performance is “higher” than 7FF.
As it now stands, Intel’s 7nm is reportedly delayed till 2021 and that too if the company can manage its productions delays.