Is Intel’s Leaked Roadmap Legitimate?

Article By : Dylan McGrath

Roadmaps said to be taken from internal Dell presentation show no 10-nm desktop CPUs until 2022.

Intel has declined to comment on what is purported to be a leaked technology roadmap that shows the company will not have 10-nm desktop CPUs available until 2022.

Tweakers, a Dutch IT news website, published the purported Intel client CPU roadmap Tuesday. Tweakers said the roadmap — along with a second roadmap purporting to cover Intel's laptop CPU plans — were part of an internal Dell presentation and were emailed to the news site by an anonymous source. The laptop roadmap has Intel releasing 10-nm laptop CPUs beginning in the current quarter.

Intel Making Progress on 10nm

The authenticity of the roadmaps has not been verified by EE Times. A spokeswoman for Intel declined to verify or refute the roadmaps' authenticity, citing company policy against commenting on rumors.

Some of the information contained in the purported roadmaps corresponds to information that Intel has publicly released. Other information, however, contradicts what Intel has said publicly. For example, Intel has since last year been giving the 2019 holiday season as the target date for 10-nm products, but the mobile roadmap calls for a 10 nm Ice Lake and Lakefield processors to be released on a limited basis beginning in the second quarter.



Analysts contacted by EE Times were wary of taking the roadmaps at face value or reading too much into them. Jim McGregor, president and principal analyst at Tirias Research, said it is not uncommon for Intel to refrain from using the latest process technology for commercial desktops. The slides that appear on the Tweakers site do not show Intel's consumer desktop or server roadmaps, he said.

"I'm positive they will have both on 10 nm in the second half of 2019," McGregor added.

The focus on the availability of Intel's 10nm products is critical given that the company experienced server yield issues which caused 10nm products to be delayed multiple times from an original target release in 2016. AMD, Intel's longtime rival in the microprocessor business, has taken advantage of Intel's stumbles at 10 nm and the shortage of Intel CPUs in general to gain some market share from its much larger rival in recent quarters. AMD is also gearing up to release its 7 nm Ryzen 3 desktop CPUs later this year — reportedly as soon as July.



Kevin Krewell, also a principal analyst at Tirias Research, said he considered the purported roadmaps published by Tweakers to be credible, noting that Intel is likely prioritizing 10-nm laptop CPUs over desktop CPUs

"The focus for Intel's 10 nm process is likely mobile first and desktop second," Krewell said. "With all the 14 nm capacity Intel is putting in place, it will likely lean on that node for a longer time."

Krewell added that the commercial PC and server markets are less sensitive to the latest process node.

"Intel is also compensating for the delay in 10 nm by adding other architecturally improvements such as DLBoost to 14-nm products," Krewell added.

Intel demonstrates 10nm Ice Lake CPU

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