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Intel Says First 10nm Desktop CPUs Land in Second Half of 2021

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Intel's announcement today that its 7nm process will be delayed until late 2022 or early 2023 sent shockwaves through the industry, but the company also revealed that its first 10nm CPUs for the desktop won't come to market until the second half of 2021. AMD's continued push with its 7nm Ryzen processors has caught Intel flat footed as it continues to lose market share in the desktop PC market, so the relatively long wait for 10nm processors could prove to be a significant disadvantage for Intel.

Intel's Alder Lake-S chips are known to come with a hybrid architecture, meaning they will come with both a collection of larger and smaller cores much like ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. That means Alder Lake-S won't feature a traditional chip architecture, and even though Intel has paved the path with its Lakefield 3D processors, that approach presents challenges for both manufacturing and software support. It's unclear if Intel will use 3D packaging for the new chips, which could complicate the fabrication process. 

(Image credit: Intel)

The new chips will land in a new LGA1700 socket, and are also expected to use the new DDR5 specification. According to Intel's announcement today, we won't see the new chips until the second half of 2021. Intel's upcoming 14nm Rocket Lake processors will serve as the stopgap, but the company hasn't revealed when those chips will come to market. 

Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.