Intel says it found a defect in 7nm chip manufacturing, delays launch until 2022 and 2023

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Intel finds bugs in 7nm chip manufacturing, delays launch of Granite Rapids server CPU to 2023, Ponte Vecchio GPUs to 2022

A “defect mode” in its 7nm manufacturing process has forced Intel to delay its 7-nanometer chip launch plans. The chipmaker revealed yesterday released its second-quarter earnings report. In the report, Intel said its 7nm-based CPU product timing is moving back by around six months, as the yield of its 7nm process is now 12 months behind schedule. To make up for lost revenues, Intel said it’s “accelerating its transition to 10nm products” in 2020, due to an increase in demand.

“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,” says the report.

The 7-nm chip manufacturing was delayed due to a defect mode in its manufacturing says Intel CEO, Bob Swan. The defect mode caused yield degradation and as a result, Intel had to move the manufacturing to third party foundries.

As per the new schedule, Intel’s first 7nm Granite Rapids server CPUs will now ship only in 2023 instead of the earlier 2020 roadmap. While its forthcoming 7nm Ponte Vecchio GPUs will now ship only in end 2021 or early 2022 as per the new schedule.

Ponte Vecchio is Intel’s first graphics chip and comes with the chiplet-based design. Intel says that Ponte Vecchio production has been outsourced to third-party foundries. Intel is relying on 10nm chips for this and next year while AMD and other chipmakers are already churning out 7-nanometer chips. Rival AMD is already planning to go further with its 5nm Genoa processors launch by end of 2022.

The 7-nm chips require highly advanced technology and can achieve better performance as well as battery life.

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