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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Jul 24, 2011 12:26 AM Flag

    22nm Finfet May Extend Intel's Two Year Lead In Process

    [At some point in the next six to twelve months, Intel's 22nm finfet is going to bust a major move into ARM's business. Shorts will be crushed, vaporized and eliminated. It might even jar Wall Street out of its technology stupor for several minutes. It's all about the fabrication...]

    "Intel has a two year lead in process technology over the rest of the semiconductor industry and could get further ahead if yields are satisfactory on its finfet-based 22nm process due for introduction later this year, said Mike Bryant, CTO of Future Horizons, at last week's IFS 2011.

    Intel has been shipping 32nm in volume since 2009, said Bryant, "while the others are only just getting into volume production."

    TSMC has issued its 28nm design kits but, said Bryant: "This tends to happen a year ahead of full production'.

    "If Intel's 22nm process yields well," reckoned Bryant, "then they will move further ahead."

    This is what is giving Intel CEO Paul Otellini the confidence to say, earlier this week: "Our job is to make sure that we can out-perform, out-battery, and out-compatibility the ARM guys on Win 8 tablets."

    Intel has always suffered in competitiveness with ARM for two reasons: ARM is multi-sourced and inexpensive; ARM uses less power.

    If finfet 22nm eliminates the second of these disadvantages, then Intel will have a powerful argument to persuade OEMs to use x86 in tablets.

    That's in default of using the powerful argument of MDF, which the US FTC has told Intel not to use any more.

    Other prizes for Intel, if it can crack 22nm finfets, are that processors might get to 4GHz, and Apple may use Intel for foundry to get an advantage over Android competitors.

    If that happens, one wonders:

    Would Intel be so keen to get Apple's foundry business that it would manufacture ARM processors?

    Or:

    Would Apple be so keen to get Intel's 22nm finfet process that it would use x86 in iPads?"

    http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/david-manners-semiconductor-blog/2011/07/22nm-finfet-may-extend-intels.html

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    • ltisteve@verizon.net ltisteve Jul 24, 2011 10:36 PM Flag

      There is a unique window of opportunity next year for Intel. With the introduction of this 22nm Atom processor Microsoft is rolling out the next version of Windows in the second quarter. Though I don't see it as dire as the journalist make it out to be (the last stand of the PC) I do think that Intel and Microsoft can change the trend of apps and ARM processors back to the PC experience.

      The sales numbers for IPad and IPad 2 are fabulous for one company, but taking the entire computing market potential they are only the tip of the proverbial ice berg. Windows 8 and Intel may have an opportunity to grab a much larger share of the market if they do indeed offer a great solution, and hit some new lower price points for tablets.

      I see many flaws in the arguments for ARM processors. The first is that the market wiil be willing to wait for them to come out with their killer processor a year or two behind Intel. Sorry, throw legacy apps into the equation and they are showing up far too late without a better solution. The other problem is that they assume Intel will not follow up with another improved processor. They seem to think that whatever Intel comes out with next year will be around in 2015 when TSMC has it's new and improved 3D technology. The problem is that Intel is one focused, unified force that does R&D 24 hours a day. If there is indeed money in this market, and great opportunity to expand sales while taking out the threat of ARM in their mainline business Intel will continue to invest in R&D. By 2015 you may see not only the second but the third generation of the yet unreleased Atom processor.

      The signs are there right now. One of the big ones is that Apple's OS/X Lion software is starting to have provisions for touch based operation. Which of course heavily implies that it's heading to a tablet, and that it most likely will be Intel powered. Though Apple has the resources to rewrite their code for ARM, will they? And we already know that Microsoft is heading this direction.

      We are in the golden era of ARM right now. By the end of next year we'll have a really good idea of where the market is heading. My money is on Intel.

      • 2 Replies to ltisteve
      • I see many flaws in the arguments for ARM processors. The first is that the market wiil be willing to wait for them to come out with their killer processor a year or two behind Intel. Sorry, throw legacy apps into the equation and they are showing up far too late without a better solution. The other problem is that they assume Intel will not follow up with another improved processor. They seem to think that whatever Intel comes out with next year will be around in 2015 when TSMC has it's new and improved 3D technology. The problem is that Intel is one focused, unified force that does R&D 24 hours a day. If there is indeed money in this market, and great opportunity to expand sales while taking out the threat of ARM in their mainline business Intel will continue to invest in R&D. By 2015 you may see not only the second but the third generation of the yet unreleased Atom processor.
        -----

        It's the other way around, we *know* what the ARM based SoC's look like for Windows 8 but we don't know what the Intel parts will look like. Are they 32nm 'enhanced' medfield, or some unannounced 22nm part? Or will Intel throw a curve ball and push a core processor into the mix?

      • gregory.lynn@rocketmail.com gregory.lynn Jul 25, 2011 9:15 AM Flag

        If OSX Lion makes it into a tablet, it will most certainly be Intel powered so that it can have Thunderbolt port(s). My guess is they will wait for a ULV Core processor based on 22nm Tri-gate.

        Future Atom SOC's may or may not support Thunderbolt, I haven't heard either way, but if so and Windows 8 tablets with Intel inside start to eat away at new iPad sales, I bet the iPad gets an upgrade to fight back.

        It's also possible that Apple will continue to make the iPad using Arm, and introduce an entirely new tablet product. After all, iPad's are selling very well, arguably due to lack of real competition.

    • If finfet 22nm eliminates the second of these disadvantages, then Intel will have a powerful argument to persuade OEMs to use x86 in tablets.
      -----

      I would be truly impressed if a 22nm Atom SoC can use less power than a 28nm ARM SoC. Interesting times.

    • http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/631-intel-briefing-trigate-technology-atom-soc.html

      Not gonna happen. Apple will go to TSMC. Intel will not manufacture ARM based products.

      D.A.N.
      www.semiwiki.com

      • 2 Replies to dnenni
      • From what I understand TSMC doesn't have the capacity. If apple launches a cheap iPhone they will need 50-60,000 300mm 40nm wafers per month.That would represent 20% of TSMC's total output and 100%+ of their 40nm output. Three month ago they were turning business away.
        Is there any chance that Intel blew smoke at you on your visit?

        Intel is making ARM parts already with the Infineon acquisition.

        The other problem is that TSMC has never supplied directly to an OEM ever before.
        Doing so would surely make QCOM, NVDA, and their other foundry customers goosey as a long tailed cat in a room full if rocking chairs.

      • gregory.lynn@rocketmail.com gregory.lynn Jul 24, 2011 12:33 PM Flag

        I believe Apple will go to TSMC for some of their products. Latest rumor was about 30% or so. I also hear they will have a new line of low cost iPhones coming based on Arm, somebody has to fab them, and like you said, Intel won't.

 
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