Intel has responded to rumours that it will be skipping volume production of its troubled 10nm process node chips for the desktop, sticking with its ageing 14nm process instead - but still won't put a firm date on availability.
That Intel has struggled with the transition from a 14nm process node to 10nm, required if it wants to keep meeting co-founder Gordon Moore's observation that the number of transistors on a leading-edge part trends towards a doubling every 18 months, is no secret: Its 2012 roadmap had 10nm hitting volume production in 2015, but 2015 came and went without a launch. Two years later, Intel had the problem licked - except even then it was only able to announce one particular mobile-centric part. By July 2017 Intel admitted 10nm wouldn't happen before 2019, four years past its originally planned launch date, then pushed non-mobile parts to at least 2020. Throughout, the company has been dogged by rumours it will cancel 10nm altogether - and despite pledging to launch 10nm-based laptops by the end of the year and having the initial models available to buy already those rumours won't quit.
The latest rumour claims that while 10nm parts will, as promised, hit the laptop sector in volume, Intel is to cancel its planned 10nm desktop parts in favour of continuing to incrementally improve its 14nm process node. If true, it would prove a major embarrassment to the company - which is why it's unsurprising to find Intel defending itself against the claims.
In a statement to Digital Trends, an unnamed Intel spokesperson offered the following denial: 'We continue to make great progress on 10nm, and our current roadmap of 10nm products includes desktop.' The spokesperson did not, however, indicate exactly when the roadmap has a volume desktop part launch for the 10nm node - and neither did they address leaked 2018-2021 roadmaps, as yet unconfirmed, which suggest 14nm parts through to at least 2021 when they would be replaced by 7nm components dubbed Meteor Lake-S.
October 15 2020 | 14:00