Intel has once again restated its commitment to delivering on 10nm CPUs before it moves onto 7nm or below, according to statements from its Chief Engineering Officer at a UBS conference and from its press communications. Whether Intel would continue to push the development of the 10nm CPUs has been a subject of speculation for years as the development has fallen further and further behind not just the stated deadlines but the work that AMD has done with 7nm. Most important of these new statements is the news that Intel has committed to a new set of target dates, so we have a theoretical timeframe for when we can expect to see something.
The troubling news on this front is that these target dates still seem a long way off, with the Ice Lake 10nm CPUs expected to arrive in the second half of 2020 and Sapphire Rapids in 2021. The Ice Lake chips will be server CPUs or HEDTs. Intel’s statements on this upcoming chip seem to confirm their commitment to performance per core rather than raw numbers of cores, which seems entirely sensible given that AMD seem to be adding extra cores for fun right now.
Whether Intel has made the right decision in continuing to throw everything at 10nm will become apparent when we can see the fruits of their labours. Although where their rivals will be at that point is anybody’s guess.