Intel Moving Mobile ICs Nearer To Front Of Node

Intel may cut the time it takes to put Atoms on leading edge processes from two years from the start of volume production on a node, to six months, according to Barron’s.Atom is only now going onto Intel’s 22nm process. That process was first used in volume production in Q3 2011 – two years ago.

However, Intel is said to be planning to change all that at the 14nm node which is currently said to be due to enter production in Q2 2014.

It is rumoured that Intel will put Atom chips on the 14nm process by the end of 2014, or early 2015, cutting back the delay from first production on a node to first introduction of mobile chips on that node to six months.

Meanwhile the ARM camp won’t be sitting still. TSMC’s 20nm planar production is schedules for ‘early 2014’ according to its CEO, and ‘first’ production of 16nm finfet chips is expected for ‘late’ 2013 while 10nm is scheduled for ‘late’ 2015.

Pretty well everyone’s announced timings for the introduction of new processes have slipped recently, so all these dates are problematical.

And, of course, the proof of the pudding is always going to be in the consumption of the chips – how advantageous is each new node to the power/performance of the chip.

But Intel’s intention to reduce the time lapse for mobile chips to get to the front of a node shows that the new CEO is winning some internal battles.

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