As usual, Intel continues the release of its processors. While the thirteenth generation Razor Lake is not yet marketed, the firm is preparing the next generation, with one notable difference, however: the manufacturing process for Meteor Lake chips has been redesigned.
Intel took advantage of the conference Vision 2022 hosted by the group to share some interesting details regarding its next generation of processors dubbed Meteor Lake. Still in the race in terms of fine engraving, it is no surprise that the company has confirmed that it has reviewed the nomenclature of its processes, as planned in its roadmap unveiled last year.
So this is the process 5 nanometers from TSMC which will be used for meteor lakea process that has also been used to Apple’s M1 series chips. Mere coincidence? Not at all ! By launching its first multi-chip design, Intel hopes to ambush Apple. Apple which, by ending their collaboration in 2021, had dared to upset the established order.
Intel Razor Lake: new generation, new process
While the semiconductor crisis is expected to rage until 2023, Intel continues to release new processors at a steady pace. The company is about to market its latest generation processor: Meteor Lake, of which two packages are expected for 2023: one of normal size, and the second in ultra-high density, intended for more compact devices.
This new generation of processors, much more complex than the previous ones introduced for the first time a new architecture composed of different “tiles” (tiled architecture), a stacking technique called “Intel Foveros” developed by the company.
This is how Meteor Lake chips combine several etching processes with different tiles: the calculate die a CPU engraved in 7 nm (Intel 4), the Graphics die engraved in 3 nm (TSMC N3) and finally a SoC part engraved in 5 nm (TSMC N5).
So that the production does not fall behind, Intel did not hesitate to call upon TSMC (Apple’s only chip supplier) for its Meteor Lake processors. A definite advantage that allows both to take advantage of TSMC’s experience in the production of chips using the 5nm process but also to embark on the race for nanometers against this brand new competitor that is Apple.
Intel wants revenge on Apple
For our greatest pleasure, the war on the nanometer is therefore produced. Indeed, one of the challenges for manufacturers is to engrave more and more finely and, in this case for Intel, to reach 5 nanometers as Apple was able to do with its M1 chip.
As a reminder, Apple had clearly drawn a line under processors from Intel, its sole supplier with whom it had been working since 2006. This strategy was aimed above all at improving the performance and autonomy of its Macs. Indeed, more on small bass, more on power espresso and less on waste energy. This is why, finding the end of its collaboration with Intel, Apple had redirected itself to TSMC for the design of the M1 which had surprised by their power and their design relatively revolutionary. Intel was stung.
But the company had not said its last word and after having recovered Jeff Wilcox (former head of Mac architecture) in January, it is now the turn to attack its supplier TSMC.
But the company had not said its last word and after having recovered Jeff Wilcox (former head of Mac architecture) in January, it is now the turn to attack its supplier TSMC. A boon for the founder TSMC which also counts in the AMD race, but also for us consumers who will have better access to processors at more affordable prices.