Intel: 10nm Is Not Dead (It's Getting Better)

Industry analyst and SemiAccurate founder Charlie Demerjian published an article today claiming that Intel has abandoned its 10nm process. The report comes after Intel has repeatedly delayed the process node for four years. Demerjian claimed for years that Intel's 10nm process would face delays, a prophecy that has proven true. And in recent times he has claimed that Intel has relaxed the design rules for its 10nm process, thus making it more akin to a 12nm node, to deal with delays and yield issues.

Now, Demerjian claims that Intel has "killed off" its 10nm process, which the company quickly responded to via its @IntelNews twitter account:

Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.

Intel's unusually quick response is telling. The company certainly doesn't need any lingering questions surrounding its progress on its 10nm node, particularly as it nears its earnings call later this week. As an official dispatch from an Intel twitter account, the statement does hold all of the legal weight of any official Intel statement, and misleading statements to investors is a punishable offense.

In other words, Intel is throwing its weight behind the assertions it made in its most recent earnings call that systems with 10nm processors will come to market in the second half of 2019. There has been speculation that Intel could skip its 10nm process in favor of moving directly to its nascent 7nm node. But there is nothing to substantiate those rumors.

Demerjian has been right in the past, correctly claiming that Intel's 10nm process was facing delays while the company claimed otherwise, which does give some weight to his claims. Most of Demerjian's article is behind a paywall, so it's hard to analyze the full rationale behind Demerjian's statements. No analyst is infallible, so only time will tell if Demerjian's claims are accurate, or if Intel is indeed making strides toward wide-scale 10nm availability.

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