Intel’s ambitious plan to regain leadership in the chip industry

Intel has spent The past few years have been rocking from one gaffe to the next, and have even had to outsource manufacturing of its latest chips to one of its biggest competitors.

Now, in order to regain its former glory, the company is betting that it can carry out a series of difficult transformations in manufacturing. But she also hopes the rebranding campaign will convince people that she’s not far from the competition after all.

Intel Corporation CEO Pat Gelsinger laid out a roadmap for several generations of chips at Monday’s event. It includes new technologies designed to help the company compete with it TSMC, a Taiwanese chipmaker that currently makes the most advanced and high-performance computers Chips, Beside Samsung in South Korea. The roadmap includes a timeline that will allow executives – and outsiders – to measure Intel’s progress.

Intel said the early sign of success Qualcomm And Amazon it agreed to become customers for its new plumbing business, where Intel would manufacture chips for other companies; Intel has said it will start making chips for those companies in 2024. Gelsinger has announced plans for a plumbing business. in March, shortly after returning to the company where he was previously a CTO. However, in an embarrassing measure of how far behind the company is, Intel is also planning to outsource manufacturing of its more advanced chips to TSMC.

Gelsinger said Intel will adopt a new naming scheme for future generations of chips. Currently, chip makers refer to new processes or “contracts” to make chips using the nanometer scale, with Intel currently using what’s known as a 10nm process and TSMC using what’s called a 5nm process.

The nanometer scale once referred to the actual size of the gate of the transistor, with continued shrinkage to ensure better performance. (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is 50,000 to 100,000 nanometers thick.) Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the famous In 1965, advances in the chip industry could be measured by the ability to shrink roughly twice the number of transistors on a chip every two years.

But the nanometer scale no longer indicates actual distances on a chip, and Intel and others say their current chips work like those made in TSMC’s seven-nanometer process. It plans to adopt a naming scheme that reflects this, with a new 10nm version due this year called the Intel 7 that the company says will provide 10 to 15 percent better performance per watt of power. The generations that follow, which will come in 2023 and 2024, will be called Intel 4 and Intel 3.

“There is always a question of where marketing ends and where engineering begins, but that is deeply ingrained in engineering reality,” Gelsinger told WIRED before Monday’s announcement.

Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Bernstein Research, says Gelsinger’s technical roadmap looks promising but will increase pressure on the company to implement. “It’s all great,” he says, “but the danger is that they get off their necks and it goes wrong again.”

Intel made a series of blunders under its previous leadership. The company was slow to adapt to the shift to mobile computing, which caused it to lose market share an arm, which makes blueprints for energy-efficient chips used by companies including Apple, which uses Arm-based chips for iPhones, iPads and some Macs.

Intel was also surprised by the emergence of a company Artificial intelligence. nvidia, a “fabless” chip company, has capitalized on this trend with specialized chips for artificial intelligence computations. nvidia outperformed Intel By market capitalization in July 2020.

On the manufacturing side, Intel has been slower than TSMC in adopting the latest method for etching features into silicon, known as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The company said Monday that it will ramp up EUV use, sourcing its first next-generation EUV machine from ASML, a Dutch company that is the only EUV machine manufacturer. The initiative would be costly, since the cost of each EUV machine is about $120 million.

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