Earlier this year Intel confirmed that it would delay mass production of 10nm CPUs to 2019 due to issues with yields, but did not elaborate on when in 2019 that would be. Late on Thursday Intel finally made a long-awaited clarification: the first systems powered by 10nm CPUs will hit store shelves in the second half of 2019. But there is a catch: 14nm products will still continue to play a big role next year.

Intel is set to start mass production of processors using its 10nm process technology in 2019, and while the company isn't explicitly saying when mass production will begin, it's sounding like that will be in the Q2/Q3 time frame. This being based off of what Intel is saying, which is that they expect to have PCs based on these chips to arrive during the 2019 holiday shopping season. Given the kind of lead-time required to get complete OEM systems on to store shelves, this would mean that mass production on chips needs to start 3 to 6 months sooner than that.

As for said finished systems, what's typically considered the holiday shopping season starts in October or early November. So systems based on Intel’s 10nm CPUs would finally be available in mass quantities starting in Q4 of 2019. Consequently, for more three quarters of next year Intel will continue to rely almost entirely on its products made using its various 14nm process technologies.

It remains to be seen how much time it will take Intel to ramp up production of its 10nm CPUs and when the volume crossover between 14nm and 10nm chips occurs. At present, Intel seems to be optimistic about what it has today and will have tomorrow — a variety of 14nm products. In fact, there is a lot of room for growth here: shipments of Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors accounted for a little less than 50% of Intel’s datacenter revenue in the most recent quarter, so the company will certainly continue to ramp up shipments of these products for many quarters to come, increasing its ASPs and revenue. Keep in mind that Intel’s upcoming Cascade Lake-SP platform will bring support for 3D XPoint-based Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs, which will bring in huge earnings opportunities to the company.

Speaking of datacenter products. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer, promised that 10nm “datacenter products” will follow “shortly after” availability of client systems running 10nm CPUs in the late 2019. He did not give any exact timeframes, but stressed that its next-gen Xeon will follow its next-gen client parts quicker usually. Essentially, Intel confirmed this week’s report claiming that the codenamed Ice Lake-SP CPUs may hit the market in Q3 or Q4 of 2020.

Note: Image of a wafer is for illustrative purposes only.

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Source: Intel

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  • Spunjji - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    88mm^2 is larger than the 70mm^2 Cannon Lake 10nm die that Intel can't manufacture profitably in any reasonable volume. At this stage I'd expect to hear rumours if the other fabs were having similar issues, but instead we have roadmaps being stuck to and product releases being planned. This just does not look good for Intel in the near term.
  • .vodka - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Let's not forget that 88mm² Cannonlake die in the form of the i3 8121u has the iGPU completely disabled, has worse clocks than 14nm++ parts (as expected) and its 15w TDP rating is horrible for a plain dual core. There are no reviews of that Lenovo notebook using this chip, and nobody really knows its performance or if there's an IPC improvement over Skylake. It's all smoke and mirrors.

    I'll be gentle and say that 10nm is a train wreck and a dumpster fire. Intel is in for a lot of pain next year unless there's a breakthrough on that money black hole of a process.
  • Santoval - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    It makes zero sense to compare x86 desktop and laptop CPUs with mobile ARM based CPUs. It is an apples to watermelons comparison. Compare instead x86 die sizes with the same number of cores, e.g. 8-core dies from Intel with 8-core dies from AMD.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, July 26, 2018 - link


    "...its products made using one of its 14nm process technology."

    The last word should be "technologies" in that sentence.
  • Flunk - Thursday, July 26, 2018 - link

    Sweet, only a whole year later than we were expecting at the beginning of 2018!
  • vFunct - Thursday, July 26, 2018 - link

    When can we expect updated 10nm MacBook Pro models? November/December 2019?
  • jospoortvliet - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Given how long it historically takes Apple I would be extremely surprised if it would be before mid 2020.
  • danwat1234 - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Since Apple is usually 6 months behind regular laptops... Mid 2020?
  • KAlmquist - Thursday, July 26, 2018 - link

    Intel 10nm is almost four years behind it's original target of the second half of 2015, unless you want to count the very limited 10nm production that Intel is currently doing. That's a really big failure. Intel used to have something on the order of a three year lead over most of the other semiconductor manufacturers, and they've blown it.
  • jjj - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Don't forget that systems in stores is very vague, could be all segments or a few 5W systems.
    As for high volume production at 10nm, just the fab cycle is gonna be 3-4 months and takes a while to ramp output and get inventory out there so they can't blanket the entire market out of the sudden

    XPoint does not ramp to any real volumes before 2020 as second gen arrives in second half 2019 and needs to ramp. They can talk all they want but they got little output, no demand for even that output and they are losing money with it.Ofc that's before even considering how viable those DIMMs might be.

    Server is under pressure from AMD as they are finally starting to ramp Epyc, already sampling 7nm and by the time Intel goes 10nm, Epyc will be on N7+.

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