The forthcoming manufacturing processes Intel 4, Intel 3 and Intel 20A and 18A are said to be on schedule. Meteor Lake is likely to use a new process this year, and by 2024 there will be new features such as GAA-FETs and a revised power supply.
After Intel was stuck in 14 nm production for what felt like an eternity, it should now be much faster. In 2021, the Alder Lake processors came onto the market in the desktop, which finally rely on the optimized 10 nm process “Intel 7” instead of a heavily optimized 14 nm production. And this year the first processors, which Intel manufactures in the new “Intel 4” process, are to appear with Meteor Lake.
advances in manufacturing
This manufacturing process seems to be on schedule: According to a report by the Chinese website My Drivers, which allegedly refers to the head of Intel’s Chinese research department, Intel 4 is now ready for the production phase. According to Intel’s roadmap, Meteor Lake should be launched in the second half of 2023. In addition, it should also continue quickly afterwards. Specifically, the improved production “Intel 3” should also be on schedule.
In 2024 it could then continue with the Ångstrom nodes 20A and 18A, which according to the report should be ready for series production in the first and second half of the year. With these new processes, not only reductions, but also major changes in production are planned.
Specifically, the Intel technologies RibbonFET and PowerVia are to be integrated. The former is Intel’s implementation of gate-all-around production, which is intended to replace the previous FinFET approach and thus improve the switching properties. With PowerVia, on the other hand, the power supply for the chips is to be moved to the back of the wafer, leaving more space above the wafer for the signal lines that remain there.
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Innovations of this kind are of course only of limited importance for customers: what counts is what products ultimately come onto the market. After Meteor Lake with Intel 4, Arrow Lake in particular should be exciting here in the 20A process. The intermediate Intel 3 process, on the other hand, should only be used for data center products, at least according to Intel’s current roadmap. Of course, it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen in the end. Due to problems in development, Intel has had to switch around several times in the past and offer products in other manufacturing processes than originally planned.