Among several different updates tucked into Intel’s Q2’2020 earnings report, the company included a brief update on some of their future products. While the bulk of the company’s focus is currently on their next-generation Tiger Lake CPUs, which are launching this quarter, the company is also looking at what comes after Tiger Lake, as well as the future of their highly profitable server business.

First off, Alder Lake has finally been formally outed. The successor to Tiger Lake now has an official launch window of the second-half of 2021. The 10nm chip will be for both mobile and desktops, making it the first 10nm chip that Intel has confirmed will come to desktops. Very little is otherwise officially known about the chip, but Intel’s ISA documents have previously revealed that there will be some new instructions found in that chip.

Otherwise the six-month window for kicking off production shipments is a fairly wide one for a chip that doesn’t rely on a new process node. Intel product cycles are rarely under a year long, so at first blush we’d be surprised if this was anything earlier than a late 2021 product. But with Intel’s recent 7nm delay and planned ramp-up of their 10nm process, it may be that Intel will be trying to pull it in and launch it in Q3, similar to this year’s Tiger Lake launch.

Meanwhile on the server side of matters, Intel is preparing for both Ice Lake-SP as well as its successor, Sapphire Rapids. One of the many victims of Intel’s 10nm woes, Ice Lake-SP is Intel’s first 10nm server chip. As of late the company has been riding a wave of profitability based on its server parts, so a newer part that improves on core counts and energy efficiency will be a welcomed addition to Intel’s product lineup, not to mention better able to fend off AMD’s powerful EPYC “Rome” processors.

Initial production shipments for Ice Lake-SP are set to start by the end of this year. Though Intel’s language is loose enough that this may mean that larger volumes of the chip may not ship until 2021.

Following Ice Lake-SP will be Sapphire Rapids, Intel’s second-generation 10nm server part. Along with getting Intel’s product release cadence closer to being back on track, Sapphire Rapids will play an important role in unifying Intel’s split Xeon families. Intel’s oddball 14nm Cooper Lake Xeons, which are currently shipping, support bfloat16, but Ice Lake-SP will not. For 10nm chips that support is finally being rolled into Sapphire Rapids, making the new chip the successor to both Cooper Lake and Ice Lake-SP in every way.

Sapphire Rapids will follow Ice Lake-SP by roughly a year. According to Intel’s presentation deck, chips will begin sampling in H2’2020, while CEO Bob Swan’s prepared remarks state that initial production shipments will begin at that time.

What follows these chips, in turn, will be the big question that Intel is currently wangling with in light of their 7nm delay. The company has made it clear that they intend to maintain an annual release cadence, divorced from their process roadmap if necessary. Depending on the state of their 7nm process, that may mean 7nm chips, 10nm chips, chips using dies from both processes, or even using dies from third-party fabs. Intel has opened the door to all possibilities, and their 2022 chips will likely be their first chance to embrace their new pragmatic approach.

Source: Intel

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  • sing_electric - Saturday, July 25, 2020 - link

    Damn, 4 years at the company and he still hasn't overseen a successful process shrink across all their flagship CPU lines...
  • name99 - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    But he basically continued the exact same path as his predecessor!
    Compare with say Satya, or Steve's return, or even Lisa Su.
    Where were the communications saying "we cannot continue with business as usual? We have to restructure everything. It will be tough, but there is no choice"?

    All we got was "everything is perfect and it will be even more perfect going forward, just you wait and see".
  • Spunjji - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    Elon Musk's no Elon Musk in the standards of this assessment, either. 😬
  • PaulHoule - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    The paradox of Intel is that it is doing well financially in a time when it has been failing technologically. Like Fatboy Slim they say "We're Number One, Why Try Harder?" but the world has changed and they are trashed by ARM on volume, AMD on performance and value, etc.

    They need to get back to "only the paranoid survive" like they used to be if they want to survive. Now it seems the more they fail the better the earnings, and that will not go on forever.
  • name99 - Friday, July 24, 2020 - link

    Don't forget Boeing...

    Whether you're AOC or Trump, you're correct that the bulk of the US 1% have a LOT to answer for.
  • joejohnson293 - Saturday, July 25, 2020 - link

    Here is the real reason why Intel is failing miserably while AMD, NVIDIA and TSMC are doing exactly the opposite and thriving.

    Intel's fab has a big ongoing cultural problem and is an albatross around Intel's neck. Unfortunately Bob Swan inherited a trail of cronies in TMG (TD) management chain from the previous head of TMG who was unceremoniously "retired". Nothing significant has changed in last 2 years for TMG. The list is long.. SVP heading overall PTD, yield VP, 10nm yield manager - who oddly has kept his job/promoted in spite of behavioral issues and consistently poor performance - all Rennsaeler grads btw (some kind of favoritism going on there as well) , litho manager calling shots in 10nm, process integration manager in charge of COAG,.....

    The CEO needs to force Intel's Chief "Engineering" Officer Murthy to fix this colossal mess somehow. This is not an easy task - perhaps he can begin by demoting all managers in TD organization by couple of levels enmasse to weed out cronies who will automatically leave since now they would have to start doing some real engineering work.

    If this is deemed to be too big a problem to be fixed, the CEO would be left with no choice but to sell off Intel's fabs and manufacturing unit to the highest bidder (Glofo/Samsung/SMIC?) ASAP. Perhaps he could use the proceeds of the sale to buy one of ARM/Nvidia/AMD/Qualcomm to help keep Intel relevant in the long term.
  • HomelessHardware - Saturday, July 25, 2020 - link

    I’m curious if you think Bob or the BoD has the backbone to make wholesale changes in the C Suite anytime soon?
    The CEO and Board work for the shareholders.

    I have honestly never seen this many downgrades and bad press on a company. Reminds me of Nokia. Friday was a wholesale vote of no confidence.
  • sing_electric - Saturday, July 25, 2020 - link

    Part of the problem is that with investors hardly looking past this quarter's profits, there's little appetite at the board level until profits fall. Intel's had no issues selling all the 14nm chips it can produce, so there's been no pressure for a shakeup.

    Of course, by the time there's a material impact on Intel's finances, it'll almost be too late - it'd take 2/3 years at a MINIMUM to get things back on track once competent management was in place.
  • SunLord - Sunday, July 26, 2020 - link

    Intel is where Boeing was in the mid 2000s
  • Spunjji - Friday, July 31, 2020 - link

    100% agreed with this. The rot has set in, it's just not "visible" on the profit/loss accounts yet.

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