Intel Having Trouble With 45 nm Chips?

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 24 2007 7:11 PM
Intel has been performing nearly flawlessly of late, but a rumor has surfaced regarding their allegedly revised release schedule.  At this time it is only a rumor, and shouldn't be taken as fact until we hear more.  Allegedly Intel's 45 nm High-K isn't working too well with low-end chips.

“The problem with this one is that changing the process like that would basically need a complete re-layout of the chip. Unless this was planned from day one, the effort involved would be huge, expensive, and very unlikely to happen.

The next bit is sort of related, word is trickling out that Intel scrapped a whole run of Harpertowns. What a "run" is defined as is beyond me, but it gets ads up to the same point as the 45nm volume problems. This one has been neither second sourced or denied, but then again, Intel tends not to talk about such things.

This leads us to problem, availability, or lack thereof, of Harpertowns. They are nowhere, and you can't order a system from a major vendor for love nor money. A month after launch of mainstream parts, this is not what Intel usually wants, or is it?”


This entire issue of delays and limited availability isn't new.  It's quite common for manufacturers to have a "ramping up" phase when they move to some new manufacturing process.  Intel's amazingly quick ramp up for their 65nm process may have led some to forget just how long it took the firm to get a handle on 90nm.  Adding to this difficulty is that Intel traditionally doesn't do a simple shrink of an existing product, but rather they take the opportunity to release new features on their CPUs whenever they improve their manufacturing process.
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