Intel has finally begun operating its 10nm fabrication facility with the prototyping phase expected to begin soon, reports WCCF Tech. This quarter, the chip maker will enter the trial production stage, and the costs for doing so are already included in the financial outlook for the third quarter. The world’s largest chip maker has confirmed that it has started shipping Kaby Lake processors to customers.
Intel’s CannonLake processors are on track
Intel still remains quite dedicated to beating physics and shrinking the transistors that we cannot live without now, even though it may have killed off Moore’s Law. This quarter, the company will be starting up the 10nm factory, reaffirming that the 10nm CannonLake processors are indeed on track. Intel should enter into trial production later this year if its historic track record is considered. It should be able to enter volume production by the end of 1H 2017.
Intel’s 14nm process entering the mainstream market was delayed by around six to nine months, but even with this delay, the California-based chip maker managed to keep its node lead over other third-party fabrication facilities, such as Samsung and TSMC. Intel’s 14nm node is certainly the best one in the market and has no competition. Its advantages include SRAM scaling, better gate length and pitches, among other things.
Intel did mention that all these benefits and improvements will remain in effect for at least the 10nm chips. The scaling will remain the same, while cost per transistor plummets and density rises. The chip maker has entered a better spot at the top of the line, and the only problem that remains now is beating physics every time. Physics breaks down quite fast, and quantum physics effects start becoming a major problem at and below 7nm, the report says.
Kaby Lake already shipping
To assuage fears, Intel claims that the deployment time to 10nm will be up to 50% faster than it was for 14nm. Also the chip maker has confirmed that its Kaby Lake series of processors has already begun shipping out to consumers. The Kaby Lake processors constitute the last iteration of the tick-tock-tock schema for 14nm processors. The chip maker will be perfecting the 14nm process node by offering a mature build for its Kaby Lake processors.
Both mobility and desktop Kaby Lake processors will feature several SKUs. These include some key lineups like Kaby Lake H, Kaby Lake S, Kaby Lake U and Kaby Lake Y chips. So far, only these SKUs are confirmed, but there could be more.