Intel CEO Positions 18A Node Ahead of TSMC’s 2nm In Performance & Launch Timeframe

Intel’s CEO has expressed confidence in its 18A process, claiming that it competes favorably with TSMC’s 2nm node while also being delivered earlier.

Intel’s 18A Process Node With Backside Power Delivery and Enhanced Silicon Utilization Reportedly Ahead of TSMC’s 2nm In Performance & Delivery

Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger sat down with Barron’s at Team Blue’s recent AI Everywhere event, where the company unveiled its latest Meteor Lake processors. Speaking with the outlet, CEO Gelsinger provided an update on Intel’s 18A process, claiming that it has the potential to surpass TSMC’s N2 (2nm) node, especially after the utilization of an advanced power delivery method.

We announced two major innovations with 18A: a new transistor and backside power. I think everybody’s looking at the transistor of TSMC’s N2 versus our 18A. It’s not clear that one is dramatically better than the other. We’ll see who’s best.

But the backside power delivery, everybody says Intel, score. You are years ahead of the competition. That’s powerful. That’s meaningful. It gives better area efficiency for silicon, which means lower cost. It gives better power delivery, which means higher performance. So, I have a good transistor. I have great power delivery. I think I’m a little bit ahead of N2, TSMC’s next process technology in time.

Pat Gelsinger (Intel CEO) Via Barron’s

Intel’s 18A process node will utilize RibbonFET transistors along with a new “PowerVia” delivery method,  which is anticipated to bring significant performance figures onboard. It is disclosed that we could see a 10% gen-to-gen improvement with 18A over 20A. There were reports that ARM might be Intel’s first customer of the process, desiring to utilize it for mobile SOCs, but this is currently a mere rumor.

The latest Intel roadmap shows 18A ready for risk production by 2H 2024, which is ahead of schedule.

Intel Foundry Services, particularly with its semiconductor technology, hasn’t seen much success in terms of industry adoption in recent times however, things look to change, especially with the pace of developments being made at Team Blue’s camp. Just recently we reported on the status of Intel’s 20A process, and how it is scheduled to debut by 2024. Intel 20A will be powering the Arrow Lake client CPUs while 18A is said to offer a broad range of solutions from future client, datacenter, and foundry chips.

Intel Process Technology Roadmap. (Source: PC.Watch)

Also, in a presentation showcased to Japanese media, Intel lists down several nodes beyond 18A & we also see the return of the iconic “+” from the 14nm era. At least three future nodes following 18A are mentioned with “Intel Next+” specifically mentioning the use of HiNa EUV lithography. The production on this node shouldn’t be expected until the 2025-2026+ timeframe.

The upcoming semiconductor markets are going to be much more dynamic than they previously were, with the likes of Samsung Foundry and Intel coming for the throne.

Intel Process Roadmap

Process Name Intel 10nm SuperFin Intel 7 Intel 4 Intel 3 Intel 20A Intel 18A
Production In High-Volume (Now) In Volume (Now) 2H 2022 1H 2023 1H 2024 2H 2024
Perf/Watt (over 10nm ESF) N/A 10-15% 20% 18% >20%? TBA
EUV N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes High-NA EUV
Transistor Architecture FinFET Optimized FinFET Optimized FinFET Optimized FinFET RibbonFET Optimized RibbonFET
Products Tiger Lake Alder Lake
Raptor Lake
Sapphire Rapids
Emerald Rapids
Meteor Lake
Xe-HPC / Xe-HP?
Granite Rapids
Sierra Forest
Foundry Partner
Arrow Lake
Diamond Rapids?
Lunar Lake
Nova Lake
Diamond Rapids?
Foundry Partner

News Source: Barrons

Share this story