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Rumor | Intel's upcoming 6nm and 3nm Xe GPUs to be built by TSMC following the 10nm debacle

Moving to TSMC's 6nm process could give the Xe lineup the performance leg up it badly needs (Image source: Intel)
Moving to TSMC's 6nm process could give the Xe lineup the performance leg up it badly needs (Image source: Intel)
Intel is reportedly abandoning its own 10nm process in favor of TSMC for upcoming Xe GPUs, according to Tech News Taiwan sources. The rumor underscores indications that Intel's 10nm process is doing poorly, something Team Blue's CFO recently discussed on record.

In a startling revelation, sources told TechNews Taiwan that Intel is abandoning its own 10nm process for its Xe GPU lineup after the DG1. Instead, Team Blue will be partnering with TSMC to building upcoming Xe GPUs on their 6nm and 3nm processes in the years to come.

During a Morgan Stanley financial analyst conference, George Davis, Intel's CFO, recently admitted that the 10nm process wasn't doing well: poor yields meant that production levels have been low, causing Intel to face extended shortages.

Naturally, this makes Intel's own 10nm fab process less than ideal for volume production of the Intel Xe GPU lineup. Xe's chiplet-like design makes large volume production a necessity to keep units costs in check. Unless it goes back to 14nm, Intel does not have a viable path forward to manufacture Xe GPUs by itself. 

If this rumor is true, the implications are tremendous. So far, spec leaks and Intel's own official reveal indicate that the DG1 is an entry to mid-range GPU that's behind Nvidia and AMD on the efficiency front. A second-generation Xe part built on the 6nm process could allow Intel to finally reclaim process leadership. Larger second-gen Xe GPUs with 192-plus EUs, clocked in the 2 GHz range, could give AMD and Nvidia serious trouble in 2021 onwards. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Intel's upcoming 6nm and 3nm Xe GPUs to be built by TSMC following the 10nm debacle
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-03- 9 (Update: 2020-03- 9)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.