Intel delays 10nm transition, stays on 14nm for now
INTEL will build a third generation of its 14nm processors, announcing a delay in the transition to 10nm manufacturing until the second half of 2017.
Since 2007, Intel has released only two generations of processors based on each process type: the first generation generally having the same processor architecture as its predecessor, but with the manufacturing process switched to the new one, while the second generation processors would be based on the same process, but with a range of architectural improvements.
In the 14nm generation, Broadwell processors were the first generation, with the second generation Skylake processors coming later in 2015. The plan was to move on to Cannonlake, which would have similar processor architecture to the Skylake processors, but using 10nm processes.
However, citing challenging migration issues to 14nm and anticipated difficulties with 10nm, Intel will push the transition back. A third interim generation on 14nm will be released in 2016, called Kaby Lake.
This announcement could indicate rising difficulties in keeping up with Moore’s Law, where transition densityA figure of merit usually expressed in Joules per cubic inch for capacitors doubles every 18-24 months. As processes get smaller and smaller, more complex manufacturing and more exostic technologies are needed.