Intel today demonstrated today why Apple is making the move away from using Intel processors in its Mac lineup, announcing today that the rollout of its 7-nanometer chips will be delayed by six months. The delay pushes the release date of the new chips to late 2022 or early 2023.
Tom’s Hardware reports Intel’s yields for its 7nm process are now twelve months behind its internal target.
From Intel’s press release:
“The company’s 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations. The primary driver is the yield of Intel’s 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company’s internal target.”
Intel CEO Bob Swan, during the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call said that Intel identified a “defect mode” in the 7nm process and has invested in “contingency plans” that include external third-party foundries.
As he wound up the call, Swan told listeners that he’s “not happy” with Intel’s 7nm performance. Intel was originally aiming to release 7nm chips in 2021.
Intel still plans to launch 10nm-based “Tiger Lake” chips in the near future, and the 10nm-based server CPU “Ice Lake” is still on track for launch later this year. A new client CPU lineup “Alder Lake” will launch in the second half of 2021, which will mark the firm’s first 10nm-based desktop CPU.
Intel has faced continuing struggles over the years, with delays in the release of chips as well as numerous roadmap changes. The issues the chipmaker has faced is one of the reasons Apple has decided to drop Intel like a spurned lover in favor of its own ARM-based Apple Silicon for use in future Macs. Apple has numerous times been forced to deal with delays when Intel failed to come through.
Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June that it would release its first Apple Silicon-powered Mac by year’s end, and would move its entire Mac lineup to its own chips over the next two years.