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spartaman64

TSMC reportedly won't make extra capacity for intel

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31 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

I read that comment in terms of intel moving to TSMC permanently. But that could be my own bias talking as thats the only way i could see them doing it, though even then the scale issue mentioned would largely require intel to license the process for their own fabs rather than have TSMC do the work i their fabs.

Short or long term I don't think it actually changes much, longer term just won't be a thing because that basically means Intel exiting leading process technology all together. I think when people are saying long term they mean 2-5 years which actually isn't long term, that's single generation product life cycle. Process technology is so pivotal to Intel's architectures and designs I cannot see how it is actually possible to effectively use TSMC for processors without a giant list of potential and ongoing problems for both TSMC and Intel.

 

Node numbers are irrelevant, Intel's 14nm is market competitive right now which is just how good it has been and still is. There is no way Intel would have had such high performance products as well as low power laptop products as they have been over the multiple generations that have used 14nm using any other fab other than their own 14nm, and the same applies to 22nm. None of Intel's past success could have been done on anything other than their own, it's not a case of could they use someone else's it's the issue that what would have been achievable would be lesser. Sure Intel's 14nm is at the end of the road now but that is largely due to everyone else catching up.

 

This is why I say it is such a big problem for Intel to use TSMC for a leading processor design, there is a big assumption there that it would actually result in better processors than on Intel's 14nm. Even if it does that makes that product a dead end because there is no way Intel is going to give long term support to it without committing to using TSMC across multiple generations which I highly doubt will happen because that would call in to question if Intel should continue developing leading fabrication technology at all.

 

TSMC won't license 7nm to Intel and even if they did it's unlikely Intel could even do anything with it, is Intel supposed to just throw out what they have? Can the equipment they have be used? (probably). Where is Intel going to do their 7nm development? Are they?

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7 minutes ago, straight_stewie said:

7nM

<nitpick>The SI unit symbol for meter is a lower case m not an upper case</nitpick>

 

Dunno why but that capitol M annoys me more than it should lol

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5 minutes ago, leadeater said:

<nitpick>The SI unit symbol for meter is a lower case m not an upper case</nitpick>

 

Dunno why but that capitol M annoys me more than it should lol

M stands for mega, so he's talking about a dimensionless milli in a weird way. xD

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1 minute ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

M stands for mega, so he's talking about a dimensionless milli in a weird way. xD

I'll have you know Intel has the best nanomegas of any company 😉

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32 minutes ago, leadeater said:

TSMC won't license 7nm to Intel and even if they did it's unlikely Intel could even do anything with it, is Intel supposed to just throw out what they have? Can the equipment they have be used? (probably). Where is Intel going to do their 7nm development? Are they?

What really bugs me is that Micron (4th largest foundry in capacity) and Intel (6th largest in capacity) have been working together in R&D for years, but both seem to be lagging behind TSMC and Samsung (largest and second largest in capacity).

 

If it requires EUV, they will probably build a new fab with new equipment and use the current 14+++++++++++++++++ nm capacity for other stuff.

 

If Intel process has higher density than competitors, few additional manufacturing steps but doesn't require EUV, they may be capable to offer lower prices in the future. The opportunity cost is the issue.

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41 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Dunno why but that capitol M annoys me more than it should lol

More than a thread that refuses to acknowledge a blatant industrial espionage attempt when it sees it?


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4 minutes ago, straight_stewie said:

More than a thread that refuses to acknowledge a blatant industrial espionage attempt when it sees it?

Well I doubt Intel is actually considering it, pitching the idea in a meeting is very different than actually making plans and assessing the viability of it. Rumors and speculation is just that, Toms Hardware could publish a story about how Intel is going to have geostationary orbital fab facilities but that doesn't actually mean it's true.

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52 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Short or long term I don't think it actually changes much, longer term just won't be a thing because that basically means Intel exiting leading process technology all together. I think when people are saying long term they mean 2-5 years which actually isn't long term, that's single generation product life cycle. Process technology is so pivotal to Intel's architectures and designs I cannot see how it is actually possible to effectively use TSMC for processors without a giant list of potential and ongoing problems for both TSMC and Intel.

 

Node numbers are irrelevant, Intel's 14nm is market competitive right now which is just how good it has been and still is. There is no way Intel would have had such high performance products as well as low power laptop products as they have been over the multiple generations that have used 14nm using any other fab other than their own 14nm, and the same applies to 22nm. None of Intel's past success could have been done on anything other than their own, it's not a case of could they use someone else's it's the issue that what would have been achievable would be lesser. Sure Intel's 14nm is at the end of the road now but that is largely due to everyone else catching up.

 

This is why I say it is such a big problem for Intel to use TSMC for a leading processor design, there is a big assumption there that it would actually result in better processors than on Intel's 14nm. Even if it does that makes that product a dead end because there is no way Intel is going to give long term support to it without committing to using TSMC across multiple generations which I highly doubt will happen because that would call in to question if Intel should continue developing leading fabrication technology at all.

 

TSMC won't license 7nm to Intel and even if they did it's unlikely Intel could even do anything with it, is Intel supposed to just throw out what they have? Can the equipment they have be used? (probably). Where is Intel going to do their 7nm development? Are they?

 

Oh i, (almost), completely agree i was just commenting on how i read the original comment in this chain.

 

Intel's current position is really funky for most people's mindsets. Because of the production capacity realities intel is literally too big to fail right now, but at the same time they're really far up a deep creek without any hint of a paddle in sight right now. That could and probably will change. But they're in a really tough spot right now.

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1 minute ago, leadeater said:

orbital fab facilities but that doesn't actually mean it's true.

It doesn't really seem all that far fetched for an integrated circuit development firm to contract out some of it's manufacturing.

But now I'm wondering if low gravity environments have benefits for semiconductor manufacturing, so thanks for that 😛 


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2 minutes ago, straight_stewie said:

But now I'm wondering if low gravity environments have benefits for semiconductor manufacturing, so thanks for that 😛 

 

 

Almost certainly, but  it's way too expensive to do right now.

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4 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

 

 

Almost certainly, but  it's way too expensive to do right now.

Doesn't vapor deposition rely on gravity? Washing the silicon with different chemicals also seems way more complicated with no real advantage from microgravity.

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2 minutes ago, straight_stewie said:

But now I'm wondering if low gravity environments have benefits for semiconductor manufacturing, so thanks for that 😛 

I was just thinking about dust and air quality or lack of air, maybe low gravity will help too 🤔

 

3 minutes ago, straight_stewie said:

It doesn't really seem all that far fetched for an integrated circuit development firm to contract out some of it's manufacturing.

It's not but if your need is for high performance market competitive then you have to be able to go to someone who can offer that that suits the needs you have, TSMC 7nm for Intel's designs could be worse than their own 14nm for all we know. Plus it is extremely doubtful Intel doesn't know how to get a 7nm process working, even competitive with TSMC. Intel is trying to do better and also cater specifically to their needs for their products and it has to basically be better in every way than what they have all the way through to the products made using it. Intel 10nm is denser than Intel 14nm, their 10nm offers more performance and even lower power but all of those are "It depends" which is the problem, those "depends" results in products with traits that are inferior to current products in ways that matter now for current software.

 

Doesn't very well do much good for Intel if they can have 16 core consumer desktop CPUs on 7nm that only clock around ~4Ghz which results in lower game performance on basically every game out right now. "Trust us future games will be better" probably won't work too well.

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13 hours ago, mariushm said:

Yeah, there's no point in TSMC building more production lines / capacity (it would take 2-3 years and millions of dollars) for Intel to make some budget CPUs and chipsets at TSMC for a couple of years and then move back in house when they solve their production. They'd have a hard time recuperating their investment... and next year they're gonna be on 5nm anyway.

 

They freed some production capacity by not making chips for Huawei, but nvidia and amd probably already placed orders for the wafers available .... and amd / nvidia are not the only ones that need 7nm ... phone chips are huge market for example, fpgas, maybe camera sensors etc etc

TSMC can do a condition contract that if intel wants to manufacture there chips they have to sign for at least 15 years or so , I'm I right ? 

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8 minutes ago, leadeater said:

I was just thinking about dust and air quality or lack of air, maybe low gravity will help too 🤔

The sensitive part of the process is probably done under vacuum to prevent microscopic bubble formation that could cause defects. :)

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2 hours ago, leadeater said:

<nitpick>The SI unit symbol for meter is a lower case m not an upper case</nitpick>

 

Dunno why but that capitol M annoys me more than it should lol

Because the capital M is miles?  1 nano mile is not much of a brag in terms of silicon.

 

Unless I have ballsed up it'd be something like 1609 nm   Which would make the die size about 1sqr  family sized pizza


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I know its incredibly unlikely but I'm beginning to fear for the future of Intel.

 

Within the last 2 to 3 years...

 

First they started losing component sale market share to AMD, next they started losing server sales market share, then we had speculative execution exploits, then it was OEM/laptop sales, then we had them back peddling on policies they had in place for decades to match AMDs offerings, more spec execs, then it was a delay to 10nm, then more spec execs, then outrage over shitty business practices and naming schemes designed to cause deliberate confusion, more spec execs, even more spec execs, then just as 10nm starts to drip out they announce 7nm is delayed, rich people hire rich lawyers over stock prices, the Chief Engineer announces he is resigning, the people who could help dig them out of this hole say they won't and can't help, employees go on record as saying upper management is destroying the company from the inside and the competition continues to push forward at breakneck speed.

 

If you wrote a fiction novel based around this story people would say it exaggerates to much and is too unrealistic yet its real and happening.

 

You gotta wonder how much more of a (mostly) self inflicted beating Intel can take before something gives. They need radical changes, from what I've been reading it sounds like the entire echelon of upper management needs booting and replacing for a start.

 

I know its VERY unlikely Intel will disappear any time soon.


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It's as you said, they can take a whole lot of beating.

The reality is, there are limited chip manufacturing resources, if you delete Intel from the equation, it doesn't matter if it's AMD or Intel buying capacity of other fabs, there won't be enough.

 

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2 minutes ago, Loote said:

It's as you said, they can take a whole lot of beating.

The reality is, there are limited chip manufacturing resources, if you delete Intel from the equation, it doesn't matter if it's AMD or Intel buying capacity of other fabs, there won't be enough.

 

A way out for Intel could be to sell all their fab space to a rival and swap their own design to using the competitions instead. The industry wouldn't lose capacity, Intel would get a huge cash injection and with a little work could have 7nm out probably faster than their current projections suggest.


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55 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

A way out for Intel could be to sell all their fab space to a rival and swap their own design to using the competitions instead. The industry wouldn't lose capacity, Intel would get a huge cash injection and with a little work could have 7nm out probably faster than their current projections suggest.

Let's suppose Intel does what AMD did many years ago and spin off their fabs to a new company. Who knows the most about existing fabs? Intel people, so those would have to go to the new company. Outside people, even in semiconductor industry, wouldn't be experienced in them. I don't know where some people on this thread get the idea that if they put in some magic settings everything will work fine, that you can copy them from what are totally different implementations elsewhere. Just doesn't work that way. Intel's setup is in a certain direction, and to try to copy another process would likely mean changes so big you'll never make it in time while it is relevant. That's separate from it being costly.

 

As it was so long ago, if memory serves me correctly, when AMD did it, they essentially had no choice as they were about to run out of cash. It was a way to get funding to keep going. Intel are not even close to being that bad financially. AMD had far worse for far longer and survived. It's not great for Intel right now, but I wouldn't worry about their survival. There will be changes for sure.

 

 


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Since there is so much talk on what Intel is doing at TSMC, there's a summary of best understanding at https://www.igorslab.de/en/intels-ponte-vecchio-xe-hpc-gpu-ponte-vecchio-is-not-produced-with-the-6-nm-process-by-tsmc/

 

Intel have signed a (new) contract with TSMC for 180000 wafers at 6nm (an update to TSMC 7nm), not believed to be related to Ponte Vecchio

 

Ponte Vecchio GPU die will be made on Intel 7nm and TSMC 5nm

Intel will make IO die for Ponte Vecchio, as well as RAMBO cache

Connectivity die was always planned to be made at TSMC, remains unchanged

 

Ponte Vecchio is the HPC GPU offering that will be included in the US supercomputer contract Intel won last year I think (AMD got the other one). There is speculation if Intel 7nm delays will impact the delivery of the supercomputer.


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2 hours ago, porina said:

There is speculation if Intel 7nm delays will impact the delivery of the supercomputer.

Although unlikely, because it was likely picked for a reason, imagine Intel losing that contract due to the delays and it goes elsewhere. That would be a big blow to Xe.

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6 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Although unlikely, because it was likely picked for a reason, imagine Intel losing that contract due to the delays and it goes elsewhere. That would be a big blow Xe.

It's not unusual for big projects anywhere to be either over budget and/or late. I'm sure there'll be something in the contract which states what happens. Cost will probably have to be eaten by Intel, but there may be some kind of penalty applied if it is late.


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5 hours ago, leadeater said:

I was just thinking about dust and air quality or lack of air, maybe low gravity will help too 🤔

 

The low gravity, it would hugely complicate some parts of the process and some things would have to be done diffrently, but most things that are "delicate" in manufacturing terms tend to benefit enormously from micro-gravity.

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