From the sources in which I confirmed the last Intel 14nm delay, I just confirmed another. Intel 14nm is STILL having yield problems. Remember Intel bragging about 14nm being a full node and deriding TSMC because 16nm is “just” 20nm with FinFETs added? Judging by the graph, clearly FinFETs are not the problem here. Intel used a much more aggressive metal fabric to get better density which is challenging modern lithography methods.
Meanwhile, back at the fabless semiconductor ecosystem, 20nm is yielding ahead of schedule so TSMC will see revenue this quarter versus next. I would put the chances of TSMC realizing their forecast of 20nm providing 10% of 2014 revenue as being very good. Given the more cautious approach TSMC took to FinFETs, 16nm is also on track with tape-outs happening now. If all goes as planned, 16nm will ramp in 2015 as 20nm does in 2014.
TSMC expects 20nm to be 2% of Q2 2014 revenue so the ramp begins. Looking at the 28nm ramp, 20nm is expected to be 20-30% faster:
Back to Intel; new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich committed 14nm for Q3 2013 which was later pushed out to Q1 2014 even though he held up a laptop at the Intel Developers Forum and boasted that 14nm was in fact on track. At an analyst meeting two months later he showed the slide above and said there were yield “challenges” that they are still working on. Well, from what I have heard, they are still working on it so the Intel 14nm ramp may be delayed yet again.
The questions I have are: If this is true when will Intel disclose this new yield challenge? How much will it delay 14nm products? What about Altera? I’m sure delaying this type of bad news until the problem is fixed is best for damage control but I find this type of behavior not transparent and untrustworthy, just my opinion of course.
Meanwhile the Intel pumping Seeking Alpha published an article, “Does Intel’s new CEO have what it takes?” This is pure entertainment. Thus far Intel management has made many mistakes that the author glossed over but have been covered in painful detail on SemiWiki. The lack of transparency started here with BK’s first conference call:
Intel’s Q2 Conference Call
Intel 14nm Delayed?
Intel Is Continuing to Scale While Others Pause To Do FinFETs
No Mention of 14nm at the 2013 Intel Developer Forum?
Intel Really is Delaying 14nm Move-in. 450mm is Slipping Too. EUV, who knows?
Intel Quark: Synthesizable Core But You Can’t Have It
Intel Bay Trail Fail
Yes, Intel 14nm Really is Delayed…And They Lost $600M on Mobile
Intel’s Mea Culpa!
Intel Bay Trail Fail II
Intel Comes Clean on 14nm Yield!
Intel is NOT Transparent Again!
Why Intel 14nm is NOT a Game Changer!
We write these articles from the trenches to set the record straight. We also write these articles as research for an upcoming book on Intel to chronicle the rise and fall and hopefully the rise again of the number one semiconductor company.