Intel said in a conference call (opens in new tab) that despite its $1.5 billion investment last year to boost production capacity for its 14nm process node, the CPU shortages would not be solved until the third quarter of the year.
The company also said it would not begin volume production of 10nm chips until the holiday season of this year. Even so, a recent leaked Intel roadmap showed that most of Intel’s future CPU SKUs would be built on the 14nm process until at least the end of 2020.
Intel CPU Shortages To Continue
Intel’s CPU shortages have affected virtually every single supplier of PC components since the second half of 2019. The company must have felt the pressure from this because its CEO now promises never again to repeat this mistake and slow down its customers’ sales.
Intel CEO, Robert Swan, said in the conference call (opens in new tab) that:
“Our supply constraints have had a disruptive impact on our customers and ecosystem. We've committed never again to be a constraint on our customers' growth. We've increased capacity to improve our position in the second half, although product mix will continue to be a challenge in the third quarter as our teams align available supply with customer demand.”
A day earlier, Microsoft said Intel’s CPU shortages aren’t a big deal anymore, after stating in January that the shortages were affecting Windows sales. However, Microsoft may not be as affected in part because Intel prioritized the production of Xeon and Core i7/i9 processors that would normally be destined for systems that Microsoft’s enterprise customers would use. Additionally, some OEMs have started switching to AMD processors, which is certainly one way to end the “CPU shortages.”
Intel Improves 10nm, But Most New SKUs Will Use 14nm
Although the company said that its confidence in the 10nm process is growing and that it should have “client systems on shelf” by holiday season this year, a leaked roadmap doesn’t paint the same half-rosy picture. Instead, it shows that most of Intel’s future desktop CPU SKUs will continue to be built on the company’s aging 14nm process up until the end of 2021.
Intel’s new CEO said he wants to transform the company from being “PC-centric” to being “data-centric.” However, this new focus for the company seems to have started with the left foot, as the company’s data-centric revenues were down 5% quarter-over-quarter, while the PC-centric business grew 4%.