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Intel retires +++ scheme: Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, Intel 20A nodes

Intel changes its node naming scheme: RIP Enhanced SuperFin, introducing Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, and the Intel 20A nodes.

@anthony256
Published Mon, Jul 26 2021 7:59 PM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Aug 25 2021 1:22 PM CDT

Intel is doing some much-needed changes to its node naming scheme, shifting away from its just-introduced 10nm Enhanced SuperFin nomenclature with the introduction of Intel 7.

Intel retires +++ scheme: Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, Intel 20A nodes 02 | TweakTown.com
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Intel 7 was previously referred to as Enhanced SuperFin, and will have 10-15% performance-per-watt improvements, FinFET transistor optimizations, and is currently in volume production. The new Intel 7 node will arrive with consumer-focused 12th Gen "Alder Lake" CPUs as well as data center-bound Sapphire Rapids CPUs.

During its Intel Accelerated event, the company kinda confirmed that its next-gen Alder Lake CPUs will have a hybrid design. This means we're looking at 8 high-performance cores (Golden Cove) and 8 efficiency optimized cores (Gracemont). We expect Intel to launch its next-gen 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs with Microsoft's launch of its next-gen Windows 11 operating system... but it looks like Intel will be launching its next-gen CPU on October 27.

Intel retires +++ scheme: Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, Intel 20A nodes 03 | TweakTown.com

After the introduction of Intel 7 later this year, Intel 4 is what the company used to call its 7nm node -- we're to expect a 20% performance-per-watt improvement, with "full use of EUV lithography", and will find its way into the next-gen 13th Gen "Meteor Lake" CPUs for consumers and then the Granite Rapids compute tiles for the data center.

Intel 3 is the next one after that, with 18% performance-per-watt improvement over Intel 4 as well as Denser HP library, increased intrinsic drive current, reduced through resistance, increased EUV use, with CPUs using the Intel 3 node dropping in the second half of 2023.

Intel is aiming for the stars with its truly next-gen Intel 20A node, but what the hell is the Intel 20A node? Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3 makes sense... 7nm, 4nm, 3nm... but Intel 20A? Intel's new 20A is 2nm with truly next-gen RibbonFET transistors, replacing the FinFET architecture with totally new interconnect innovations -- Intel teased one of those: PowerVia.

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The company will be shifting into volume production of PowerVia in 2024, while RibbonFET starts its life in 1H 2024.

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After that, we have the introduction of Intel 18A -- which is "in development for early 2025" says Intel.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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