The Intel 4 node, previously known as the Intel 7nm technology node, is progressing nicely, says a report published today by Taiwan's DigiTimes (opens in new tab). According to the report, Intel 4 is on track to get ready for volume production in H2 2022, matching Intel's official stance that Intel 4 will be "manufacturing ready in 2H 2022."
About a month ago, at the 2022 IEEE VLSI Symposium, Intel was highly optimistic about its next significant semiconductor production node shrink. It said that ported chips could run at >20% faster at the same power or reduce power usage by ~40% at the same frequency. In addition, we learned that the Intel 4 node, Intel's first to use EUV lithography, would also double transistor density (vs. Intel 7) for high-performance libraries.
Today's report reminded us that Intel remains confident in the Intel 4 process, which is encouraging because it will serve as the heart of Meteor Lake (Intel's 14th gen Core processor for consumers).
As well as benefiting from the new Intel 4 process technology, Meteor Lake will be the firm's first chiplet-style processor for the mass market – the so-called flexible tiled architecture and Foveros 3D packaging tech. Intel's APU-toting rivals may also have a shot across the bows by Meteor Lake's following gen on-board graphics, which Intel says will be a product of another firm's N3 process (obviously TSMC).
Of course, we are still waiting for Raptor Lake, Intel's 13th gen Core processor, to leap out of cover. Nonetheless, Raptor Lake looks a lot like 'filler' for the desktop market when you consider the potential of Meteor Lake and the entire product stack (from desktop to ultra-mobile) that may debut in the New Year. Those chips will face off with AMD's Ryzen 7000.
The last little nugget from the DigiTimes report was that Intel 3 may go through its "manufacturing ramp" in H2 2023. Last month, Intel claimed that Intel 3 would deliver an 18% performance advantage over Intel 4.
Update 04/06/2022 10:50am PT: Clarified ramp details.