Intel Thumps Chest For 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs Shipping This Year, Second Gen Ice Lake Taped Out

Intel Engineers

Intel has been quite the busy bee lately, both in terms of designing and producing new processors, and on social media to announce its achievements. The Santa Clara chipmaker recently blasted out a handful of Twitter posts to let everyone know that its 10-nanometer Cannon Lake architecture is still "on track" for a release this year, and that it has already begun taping out its second generation 10nm product called Ice Lake.
"Our customers depend on our cadence, and we continue to be a full generation ahead of others with our 10nm technology," Intel stated in a separate Twitter post.
There is a bigger message here if you read between the lines. Intel is essentially saying that even though its rival AMD has made some inroads in the ongoing processor war with Ryzen and Threadripper, both of which are based on a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, it is still the undisputed leader in semiconductors and has the technology to prove it.

Getting to 10nm is nothing to scoff at. At this point in processor design, continuing to shrink the manufacturing process is exceedingly difficult. Intel had originally hoped to release Cannon Lake in 2016 but ended up delaying things a year after running into some design and manufacturing challenges. That delay also contributed to Intel's decision to alter its tick-tock release cadence.

Challenges aside, Intel is confident it will deliver Cannon Lake by the end of the year, followed by a second round of 10nm processors. The latter is likely what Intel referred to as "10++" on a previous roadmap in which the chipmaker promised an additional 15 percent performance increase, and up to a 30 percent drop in power consumption. And that is just the beginning of what's to come.

"We are always looking three generations—seven to nine years—ahead," Intel EVP Stacy Smith said two months ago. "Today we have line of sight to 7 and 5nm. We may not know exactly which approaches will prove best for 5nm yet, but our culture thrives on those challenges. It has for generations."

Smith added that "Moore's Law is alive and well" while also pointing out that Intel has a "three-year lead over the industry." More importantly from a consumer standpoint, competition is also alive and well.

Top and Thumbnail Image Source: Intel