There could be one of the “bombs” of the year, and that is that Intel could close an agreement with TSMC for the production of processors with advanced processes.
After the “anger” of the shareholders to the high positions of Intel, it seems that there is reaction and it would have begun to move tab. Intel is unable to advance the manufacturing process adequately, so it would have contacted TSMC to manufacture 4nm and 5nm processors. The business relationship would be such that TSMC would build a factory just for Intel.
Intel sits down to negotiate with TSMC on chip production
There is little left until we see Intel’s virtual event at CES 2021, through which some important news will be announced for this year. According to the source, we could see the announcement of the “outsourcing” of processor production. Yesterday, we published the rumor about Intel’s choice between Samsung or TSMC as a chip supplier.
Today, the news goes further and it seems that TSMC would be the chosen one of Intel. Of course, Intel is clear about 3 principles : cost, performance and production flexibility. It doesn’t seem like a quick and easy arrangement, although it could have been cooking for months.
Apparently TSMC would have offered Intel a 4nm process foundry, but the initial testing stage will use 5nm wafers as both processes are designed with very good compatibility. In principle, the agreement would be aimed at the production of 4nm processors, informing that the first test will be carried out at the end of 2021. However, mass production will take place in 2022.
The dates add up to us, taking into account that AMD would present Zen 4 under a 5nm process (according to its roadmap) at the end of 2021. Therefore, the Ryzen 6000 would come with this novelty.
Intel knows it is in checkmate when it comes to producing processors with more advanced lithography. Samsung and TSMC are leading the way in such a way that Apple already has its own SoCs manufactured under a 5nm process.
Therefore, the agreement between TSMC and Intel would be so ambitious, to the point that TSMC is building a factory in Baoshan from August 15 to hire 8,000 more engineers. It is stated that, if necessary, this factory would be fully dedicated to Intel in the future.
“The blue beast” knows that 2022 is the year that can change everything, so they need to advance a lot in architecture and process. Therefore, the change would come with the 12th generation of desktop processors (called Alder Lake-S). The key to this family is the use of mixed cores (large and small) that have a dual objective: efficiency and maximum performance.
A priori, the Alder Lake-S family would come under a 10nm SuperFin process and with new motherboards under its arm: the move to LGA170 0. In this way, Rocket Lake-S would represent a mere process to finish a stage, while Alder Lake-S can bring great advances in the war between AMD and Intel.
Do you think we will see this alliance? Do you think that Alder Lake-S will come in 10nm or 5nm?