Intel's CEO Paul Otellini attracted some interest during yesterday's earnings conference call when he told analysts that the next generation of 22 nm of processors will feature a "revolutionary" process technology.
"We remain on track to begin production on our 22-nanometer silicon process technology by the end of this year," Otellini said. This revolutionary technology will further distance Intel from the competition across all segments of computing." It took some time, but one analysts picked Otellini's note up and asked what would be so revolutionary about this technology, besides the fact that it drops from 32 to 22 nm. However, the CEO told Citigroup's Glen Yeung, that he really can't discuss the features and he would have to wait until the analyst day event in May.
So, was Otellini referring to just the process technology or the integration of more processor features as a whole? There was no further information, but Intel highlighted the fact that it has dramatically increased its capital expenditures and R&D spending to $10.2 billion this year. We should be expecting some big steps from Intel over the next 24 months.
The purpose apparently is a faster transition to 22 nm and later to 14 nm in an effort to keep its rivals at a distance and cash in on its process technology advantage. The company noted that its first smartphone processor Medfield will built in 32 nm and come to smartphones within 12 months. At 22 nm the desktop processor roadmap will "intercept" the smartphone processor roadmap and tablet/phone processors will move to 22 nm as well. The first Intel 22 nm processors are expected to be announced in Q4 of this year.