On February 22, according to foreign media reports, Intel will postpone its 3nm chip order to TSMC until the fourth quarter of next year. Intel is slightly adjusting the timing of its Arrow Lake processors as it seeks to cut costs and weather a period of weak demand.
Industry insiders said that in recent years, Intel’s manufacturing process and PC platform blueprints have been revised frequently, and product launch delays have seriously disrupted the production and sales plans of the supply chain. According to reports, Intel is delaying the order with TSMC until the fourth quarter of 2024. So, if this report is accurate, the first Arrow Lake processors will launch between late Q4 2024 and Q1 2025. Neither Intel nor TSMC immediately responded to requests for comment.
It is reported that Intel has been in a sluggish state in recent years. Although it has adopted cost-cutting strategies such as staff reduction, it is expected to continue to lose money in the first quarter of 2023 in the face of a weak PC market and intensified competition from AMD.
The PC market is expected to remain weak throughout the year, and even major Intel launches may fail to stimulate demand, the sources said.
Ahead of Arrow Lake processors, Intel will launch Raptor Lake-S desktop processors later this year, offering enhanced performance for the enthusiast and workstation markets, sources said. After Raptor Lake-S, the 14th generation Meteor Lake series will be launched later this year. Meteor Lake will be the first CPU collaboration with TSMC. It consists of Intel 4 (7nm) computing chips, as well as GPU (5nm) and SoC (6nm) chips manufactured by TSMC, using Foveros3D technology.
TSMC’s 3nm order capacity has been fully occupied by Apple?
However, for TSMC, even if Intel really postpones 3nm orders, it seems that some manufacturers have already booked their 3nm production capacity, so there is no need to worry about orders.
It is reported that TSMC plans to launch five 3nm-level process technologies in the next two to three years. The first-generation 3nm process N3 is expected to be used by TSMC’s major customer Apple for a small number of designs, while the second-generation 3nm process N3E will have an improved process window. .
N3E is expected to be more widely adopted than N3, but its mass production is scheduled to start in mid-2023 or the third quarter of 2023, about a year after TSMC kicked off high-volume manufacturing using its N3 production node.
According to supply chain sources, although TSMC’s overall capacity utilization rate will decline significantly in the first half of 2023, the 3nm (N3) process with a higher foundry price is indeed as TSMC said. expected. Among them, Apple has been a major customer of TSMC. For the upcoming A17 and M3 chips, Apple has 100% occupied all of TSMC’s current N3 production capacity, while Qualcomm and MediaTek are queuing up behind.
According to relevant media analysis, if nothing else, the new-generation A17 Bionic chip will be dedicated to the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra models, while the M3 will be dedicated to the new MacBook that will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. type.