AMD released the Ryzen 3rd Gen Processors this month, based on the 7nm manufacturing process. Many enthusiasts, gamers and journalists around the world have been praising the new CPUs for their impressive performance at various price points.
Intel, on the other hand, has been quite slow with its innovations and has released several processor iterations, ALL of them fundamentally being under the 14nm manufacturing node.
Intel’s CEO Bob Swan has shed some light on why this happened, how they are alleviating this problem, and has presented yet another new roadmap.
Firstly, let’s understand what Moore’s Law means. It’s an observation made by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, which states that the transistor density in an integrated circuit doubles every two years. Essentially, it means that processing power for computers should double every two years.
When the manufacturing process improves over its previous iterations, for example going from 14nm to 10nm, it means the manufacturer can fit in more transistors because of the new design being more efficient.
Right now, Intel has been very late to the party and fallen behind its schedule. AMD’s Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs built on the 7nm manufacturing process are already here, so AMD has a two year advantage over Intel.
Intel’s CEO Bob Swan recently spoke at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference, and finally broke the silence, explaining what exactly happened.
Intel’s goals were to have a 2.7x transistory density improvement going from 14nm to 10nm. Moore’s law has been Intel’s fundamental principle for advancements in the industry, and their goal was just overly complicated.
This turned out to be too ambitious, and it just resulted in major delays with releasing the 10nm CPUs which they had originally planned to release back in 2016.
Another milestone for 10nm: Cannon Lake on track and we’ve now taped in Ice Lake, our 2nd-generation 10nm product. pic.twitter.com/DUDm3MsBaB
— Intel News (@intelnews) June 8, 2017
And yes, Intel pushed back the 10nm CPUs to late 2017, and has been delaying it ever since. Bob Swan said Intel had “prioritized performance at a time when predictability was really important”.
So what’s next? Intel will finally be releasing their 10nm CPUs this year. Their 7nm CPUs will be out by 2021, and it does have the possibilities of being more refined than AMD’s Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs, as history has shown. But by then, AMD will also be refining its manufacturing process and have an answer to Intel’s first 7nm CPUs.
“The short story is we learned from it, we’ll get our 10nm node out this year. Our 7nm node will be out in two years and it will be a 2.0X scaling so back to the historical Moore’s Law curve.”
Intel should hopefully catch up with AMD soon and go back to the historic Moore’s law curve. Their Odyssey Program for developing discrete gaming GPUs also seems very promising and is being developed under Raja Koduri, Jim Keller, and Chris Hook. Intel could make a huge comeback in the coming years!