Update: We have received an update to this article from official contacts at Intel: "We continue to make great progress on 10nm, and our current roadmap of 10nm products includes desktop."
Intel has been hard at work with 10nm Ice Lake, but if rumors hold, it won't be on your desktop or any other for that matter.
The story which broke from HardwareLUXX shows some slides from the Intel investor day back in May of 2019. Also included are notes from an insider, which has been proven credible in stories from the past paint, quite the bleak picture for 10nm on desktop. The news is not something we wanted to hear by any means. We have all seen the jokes of intel's 14nm+++++++++++++++ process, we even made a few of them.
Unfortunately, it appears that Intel is canceling any plans of their much anticipated 10nm parts for their desktop processor offerings. Intel has supposedly shifted focus to 7nm EUV for this sector, which they are aggressively working on. This is stated to be available around 2022 for those waiting for the replacement to Skylake.
Intel appears to be taking its 10nm process and applying it 100% to mobile platforms and also server platforms as well, completely leapfrogging the desktop platform. While 10nm may not be on the horizon. Intel is claimed to be improving the I/O side of things to merge new Xe graphics tech as early as 2021 with Rocket Lake-S. As we reported on recently with the Comet Lake-S spotted i3 with 4 cores and HyprtThreading, it looks like Intel is stepping up the game with it's Skylake based parts to best combat Ryen and Zen 2.
Intel has stated that they believe with the superior clock speeds and headroom still available on the skylake derivatives. They can adequately compete with AMD and Zen 2 until their 7nm EUV tech is available, which is scheduled for 2022.
Intel, however, is not willing to give up ground in the enterprise server market. Ice Lake 10nm parts will be showing up in the big arena with Sunny Cove (Ice Lake), which strangely will be offered alongside Cooper Lake 14nm parts.
As we see here, each year will carry the regular cadence of refreshes leading server into willow cove in 2021. Finally reaching Golden Cove in 2022, which will see 7nm EUV in place alongside the hopefully new 7nm EUV desktop parts as well.
It has been no secret that Intel has struggled with 10nm for several years now. The outright cancellation of 10nm desktop processors is a sign that either yield is not as good as Intel would expect. Or Intel feels that 14nm being much cheaper to spin up can hold its own for now. Intel may merely be biding its time for now in hopes of keeping server market share, which for those unaware is where the real money comes from. This is disappointing to us, and likely for most of you as well. We have all been waiting for a very long time at this point for the replacement to Skylake. But, it seems we will see 14nm +'s in the future for some time. Let's hope Intel can make some meaningful changes or AMD may end up eating their lunch very soon when Zen 2 refreshes.
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