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Intel Cannonlake may have to wait until Q2 2018

Intel Skylake silicon (Source: Apple Insider)
Intel Skylake silicon (Source: Apple Insider)
Intel is taking it slow with the 10 nm fabrication process while smartphone manufacturers continue to flock and invest in even smaller 5 nm chips.

Intel's advancement onto smaller fabrication processes has been at a snail's pace over the past few years. The three-year-old 14 nm process will apparently be stretched through 2018 according to an unconfirmed report from DigiTimes with the 14 nm Coffee Lake on track for an August 2017 time frame. The source is even claiming that slow sales of Coffee Lake could potentially delay the launch of the 10 nm Cannonlake series even further to avoid creating an oversupply of unsold Intel processors.

Meanwhile, competitors like Samsung, Apple, MediaTek, and Qualcomm either have been or will be producing 10 nm SoCs for smartphone and tablet use. Intel's current closest equivalent, the 14 nm Apollo Lake series, will not be making the jump to 10 nm for its upcoming Gemini Lake refresh to indicate that the chipmaker may be farther behind in the die size race than initially expected.

Intel has been the largest chipmaker for at least two decades and recent predictions have been claiming that it will lose ground to Samsung by the end of this year should trends continue. The manufacturer has been investing less in consumer PCs to the point where its long-running annual Intel Developer's Forum conference was abruptly canceled as it was deemed unrepresentative of the company's new vision in IoTs.


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Allen Ngo, 2017-06-17 (Update: 2017-06-17)