Intel Ponte Vecchio GPU Will Be Made On TSMC’s 6nm Process, CPUs Could Be Made On TSMC 3nm As Well



A huge report from DigiTimes has leaked out claiming that Intel’s Ponte Vecchio GPU has found its home on TSMC’s lower-cost 6nm process. The leak originally sprung from a paywalled DigiTimes article and has since been corroborated by China Times as well in the last few hours. The implication of Intel shifting major products to TSMC is huge and the report even indicates that talks to move Intel’s bread and butter CPUs to the pure-play foundry are being held as well.

Intel’s Ponte Vecchio GPU will be made on the TSMC 6nm process, books 180,000 orders in advance

Intel’s 10nm process is actually better than TSMC’s 7nm process (MTr/mm2) and is roughly comparable to TSMC’s 6nm process. This means products that are fabricated on TSMC’s 6nm process (which is an optimized and lower cost version of 7nm) will have roughly the same density as a 10nm Intel part. This is problematic in the sense because Intel’s 7nm was supposed to have even higher MTr/mm2 and could impact the footprint of projects dependant on Ponte Vecchio such as the Aurora supercomputer.

Expected timeline of process technologies from TSMC and Intel. Intel 10nm ~= TSMC 6nm. Intel 7nm ~= 3nm.

Before we go any further, here is a translation from the relevant section of the DigiTimes article by @Chiakokhua and reproduced with permission:

Worth noting is, according to sources in the semiconductor industry, the volume for Intel’s GPU outsourced to TSMC in 2021 [i.e. Ponte Vecchio] is not high, and should be using the lower cost 6nm process. As for CPUs, plans for cooperation at the 5nm and 3nm nodes are currently in progress.

On the whole, although TSMC has made further inroads into securing Intel’s foundry outsourcing orders, the real volume will only happen in second half of 2022, and will be mainly about CPUs. As for GPUs to be introduced in 2021, if they are unable to compete favorably against NVIDIA and AMD, Intel may once again withdraw from the market, in which case there’s no orders to talk about.

Surprisingly, this also claims that Intel is planning to shift its bread and butter CPU parts to TSMC as well – although I want to make it clear that this part is not confirmed yet. This is something which, even after all things are said and done, we were not expecting. It is almost impossible to ensure consistency between two different foundries that are owned by different companies and don’t follow Intel’s Copy Exactly process. This

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By: Usman Pirzada
Title: Intel Ponte Vecchio GPU Will Be Made On TSMC’s 6nm Process, CPUs Could Be Made On TSMC 3nm As Well
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 12:59:46 +0000

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