Intel Says 10nm Chip Development is On Track

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    I've heard many comments saying "Intel sucks" and "Intel is always late" and "Apple should dump Intel as soon as possible"

    That's when I remember that Intel provides processors for ALL computer manufacturers. So an "Intel Delay" would affect everyone and not just Apple.

    That's where I'm coming from.

    I will admit that Intel has their share of problems. But some people like to (incorrectly) blame Intel for some of Apple's problems.

    I'm not making that up. I've heard it. :)

    The most recent episode was the MacBook Pro i9 overheating/throttling debacle. There were comments saying "If Intel had moved to 10nm this wouldn't be a problem"

    I'm guessing they're talking about Intel being two years late in delivering suitable processors for that ultra-thin form-factor. Or something like that. I dunno.

    People will complain about anything. :p
  2. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    2011 MBP is still capable (if it still did not die for the last time) and already obsolete.

    2008 still works for a casual user.
  3. GeneralChang macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2013
    My 2011 MBP is only still useable because I updated to an SSD. MBA doesn't have that issue, since it shipped with one in 2011 (right? That's what my brain is telling me, but my memory is hardly perfect), so I can buy that. Still, the area's where a 2011 MBA is lacking (especially the onboard graphics) would make it less ideal for even something as simple as watching HD movies. Though in fairness, that's hardly a use-case most people have on their laptops anymore.

    And I don't know, my 2009 Athlon II x3 based system is pretty non-optimal even for casual use when I load it up with Win10 (it's running 7 right now, and that works just great). The big issue there is that system does not have updated storage, because otherwise yes it would be fine for casual use. But if someone has a computer that's 7 or 8 years old, odds are it shipped with a spinning hard drive, and unless they upgraded to an SSD at some point I would recommend against running Win10 on that hardware. When you come down to it that's all I'm really saying.
  4. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    Yes, the 2008 we are still using has an MLC SSD. It had a couple SSHDs before that.
  5. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    And both those statements can be true at the same time. Everybody is affected by Intel's delays and slow performance increases. And those that can (ie, make their own OS) have made some tentative movements away from Intel (Microsoft Surface, Chromebooks). Apple joining them seems like a real prospect. To some degree iPads already go there and probably have reduced laptop purchases to some degree.
    Such absolutist statements almost never are correct even if they might contain a kernel of truth. If you phrase it appropriately, it would read that Intel being stuck at 14 nm could have been a contributing factor in this debacle (increasing the core count is likely to push the thermal boundaries somewhat, going to 10 nm probably would have relieved thermal stress somewhat).
  6. FriendlyMackle macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2011
    Thanks for your answer, that is fascinating. I'm not clear on how the classical computer would even be able to locate the answer within the quantum computer results...but if we can really make these work well I do wonder what technologies could be developed!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 28, 2018 ---
  7. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    So now we know that a12x Beats the 2.6 2018 MBP in single and multi core benchmarks. Does anyone still cling to the “Arm is somehow inherently slower than x86” nonsense?

    By 2020 we are looking at ARM macs, probably across the board. Even if intel gets its head out of its butt and gets 10 working, TSMC will already have moved on, and, In any case, Intel would only be marginally more performant, at a much higher price, without any of the advantages of apple’s own silicon (neural engine, camera circuitry, secure store, etc.)
  8. theapplehead macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2018
    So will these be available in the 2019 MacBook Pro? That would be incredible if the 2019 model would have 10nm processors
  9. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Sep 10, 2009
    Probably the year after. I don't believe Intel has an answer for desktop processors either.
  10. PickUrPoison macrumors 68030

    Sep 12, 2017
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I think there’s very little likelihood of that, as Intel typically starts production of new processes with their lower power chips. So the 5W chips (Macbook, MacBook Air) would likely be first, then 15W and later 28/45W mobile.

    I would think 2020 would be the earliest possible date, and by then Apple may already have begun using their own ARM CPUs. That’s assuming they are planning such a transition, which I think is highly probable.
  11. Unregistered 4U macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    That is, of course, correct :) EVERY company IS affected because ANY company that wanted to release an ultraportable (which, according to Gartner, is where sales are headed) had to seriously adjust their plans and release products that were less than they SHOULD have been. If Intel is showing that their ability to release a product that meets this growing market is waning, then it does make sense that Apple are looking into producing their own desktop/laptop CPU’s (potentially utilizing LPDDR4 or 5, another area where Intel hasn’t performed). An Intel slip in the future could adversely affect a wide swath of PC maker’s profits... and Apple would be immune.

    They didn’t update the Mac Pro, Mac Mini because they wanted people who view raw performance as a valuable metric to move off the macOS platform. They want to keep the folks that are primarily interested in “the fastest thing that can run the macOS apps I need to do work”. That will be the group that will happily accept a product that performs well for their apps, regardless of CPU.
  12. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011
    it's a common occurance on these forums and other sites with the rampant fans who regurgitate certain talking points without understanding what those points are.

    "INTEL" in the title and you're sure guaranteed to see "it's Intel's fault" for a myriad of problems with Apple's lineup, including delays.

    The simple fact of these is that it's almost NEVER Intel's fault with Apple's issues. Yet, it's easier to deflect to Intel than to Apple for these peoples reality.

    I'm not saying Intel is great and doesn't have problems. But Apple being 2-5 generations behind on Intel's Chips is NOT a result of Intel, but Apple's own slow update routines. Where virtually every single computer maker out there releases internal refreshes whenever something is available, Apple seems content to sit on their current hardware until they run out of stock before updating.

    On top of that, Where Apple directly blame Intel is often a case of Apple setting themselves unrealistic and unachievable design specifications. For Example the i9 MacBook pro. Apple wants a top end CPU that can compete with desktop's, but with only 5w power. Such a chip DOES NOT EXIST. So isntead of opting for the PROPER chip for the power threshold, Apple used the wrong chip, and then blamed Intel for not producing exactly the chip specifications they painted themselves into a corner with from their own design.

    Again, Almost everyone on these forums who blames Intel for the slow updates or poorly matched CPU's to computer designs is blaming the wrong people, either intentionally, or out of a form of cognitive biases.
  13. Ruskes, Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019

    Ruskes macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2019
    Intel transition from Immersion to UV lithography is creating more difficulty in Yield then anticipated.
    While TSMC uses same UV lithography scanners as Intel (made by ASML), TSMC has better grip on the Yield.
  14. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    And yet Intel's 10nm will be about as dense as TSMC at 7, so is it really comparable?
  15. Falhófnir macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    On your penultimate paragraph, in fairness to Apple, Intel have been leading everyone to believe that their cooler 10nm chips are ‘imminent’ for literally years now. Back when Apple were designing the current MBP chassis in 2015/16 they were probably expecting just one generation of 14nm chips (skylake) before moving to canonlake in 2017, according to Intel’s official roadmap. Instead they’ve gone the other way and put out chips that can’t really properly stay within their thermal envelope. Like you I won’t say Apple is completely free of blame on putting a hot chip that strains against the limits of their cooling solution into their machine, but I think a big chunk of the blame does lay with Intel on this, and I’m certainly not known for being an Apple apologist!
  16. Unregistered 4U macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Darn Apple for making systems that don’t align to any shipping chips! If only Intel provided something like, oh, I don’t know, a ROADMAP for vendors that wanted to make things with their chips. That way, Apple and everyone could just design for what Intel says they’re going to release, have it ready to roll when the chips are ready, and everyone’s happy!

    Oh... so Intel communicated to all vendors that Cannon Lake, the 10nm CPU’s, would be released in late 2016? That means Apple designed their systems around the specs for a processor that Intel SAID they would have. BUT Intel didn’t have it. And they STILL don’t have it, first, saying they would slip to 2017, then to 2018, now to 2019. And, with that track record, don’t hold your breath expecting to see it before 2020.

    If Apple now designs a system around an expected 10nm Intel process chip AGAIN, expecting it to be shipping in 2020 and, it turns out, that it doesn’t ship in 2020, then, I would agree, it’s Apple’s fault... for trusting Intel :) Hence, why we have the rumors of Apple designing future systems around their own CPU architecture.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 10, 2019 ---
    Not really comparable as TSMC’s chips are contributing to an additional performance metric called “shipping”. :)
  17. Ruskes macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2019
    For the record, Intel has the 10nm Chip, but the Yield is to low so the price is to high for mass production.
    You supposed to get 100 good chips (CPU's) per wafer to pay for manufacturing cost.
    If you get only 70 CPU"s per wafer the end user (or Apple) would have to pay to much or Intel goes out of business.
  18. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011

    Yeah, I'll accept this as well and put blame squarely in both camps after the fact and update my opinion. Intel's roadmap was delayed and slow. That still doesn't excuse Apple however making designs hat no current chip can satisfy and then refusing to adjust when parts aren't available.

    As I said, Apple built to a design spec nobody can match, then instead of adjusting their designs to meet technology that exists, they ram the wrong tech through which leads to problems with the devices. So yeah, assign some blame at intel for a few aspects, but the end of the day, it's Apple designing the laptop/computer itself and it's them who must design around what intel can provide.
  19. Unregistered 4U macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    You seem to believe that Apple has no communication with Intel about what they plan to build. The two companies communicate well enough for Intel to design and provide a chip that, at the time of the release of the MacBook Air, didn’t even have it’s specifications listed in Intel's ARK database!

    So, the idea that Apple/Intel communicated and Intel provided a processor for one thin and light system, yet Apple went rouge to create a separate thin and light system without Intel’s input is just too hard to believe. What’s more likely true is that Apple informed Intel of what they wanted to release and Intel was SURE their processor would meet those goals. Upon shipping, Intel’s processors didn’t quite meet the thermal profile they thought it would (other vendors having similar issues with their i9 thin and lights), but, the vendors have little choice other than to ship what they have.

    The reason why this would be the case is easy to guess. For most of what Intel is shipping, where they make most of their money (high-performance desktop/server and low-performance mass market) thermal requirements aren’t much of a concern. The system is either expected to have some elaborate cooling system OR never get hot/fast enough to require cooling. For high performance mobile processors, we’re starting to see Intel not being able to meet published goals OR to be just on the edge of what vendors expect. For other vendors, their choice is... not much of a choice. If all your competition is shoehorning desktop chips into laptop form factors, you’ve got to as well. For Apple, if they can meet their own thermal requirements with performance that matches Intel, they’d have a solution that’s consistent and that is as fast as THEY want it to be in the A series chips.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 11, 2019 at 8:05 AM ---
    Intel doesn’t have a problem charging a premium for their chips. I can buy a Xeon on NewEgg for over $10,000 right now. Their problem is more that they aren’t producing enough with a consistent quality such that they’d be able to supply anyone with enough worldwide supply. Which is why the i3 they currently have is ONLY shipping in a NUC for China only sales, and the other 10nm’s aren’t expected to hit the market until later in 2019.
  20. Ruskes, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:14 AM
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 3:48 PM

    Ruskes macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2019
    I do not think you understand this topic.
    It has nothing to do with how much Intel charges for the Xeon CPU
    It also has nothing to do with China.

    The question is why the delay and when will Intel be capable to ship 10nm CPU to Apple.

    20,000,000 CPU's needed to supply to Apple @ cost of <$500 each.
    20,000,000/200 CPU's per Wafer = 100,000 wafers
    100,000x 20 (cycles per wafer) = 2,000,000 cycles
    2,000,000/50 wph @ 60% uptime =24,000 hours production time
    24,000 /10 EUV Scanners = 2,400 hours each (1/2 Year production time)

    If Intel is still using the 193nm immersion lithography than the Yield is really bad. (50 CPU's per wafer at best)
  21. Unregistered 4U macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    My question was more “when will Intel ship 10nm... period” To ANYBODY, for shipment worldwide, in mass quantities. Intel says possibly by the end of 2019, so, yeah, maybe they’ll make that date.

    I don’t understand why you reference price in discussing Intel’s inability to ship the processors. It’s one thing to say that “Intel can’t ship enough 10nm processes due to low yield”. While “the Yield is to low so the price is too high for mass production” just seems an odd place to add price.
  22. Ruskes macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2019
    Let me try to explain
    Intel needs to produce 20,000,000 CPU's just for Apple customer.
    Until they solve the low yield = high cost, three is no point producing CPU's for Apple that cost >$500.
    Even more simple explanation.
    Intel can produce 10nm CPU's today at $2,000 Cost. It is certain Apple would not buy that.
  23. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    The same question happens whenever you move chips, if results are gotta be better for software development, and/or Bootcamp performance... (or weather Apple will just decide to drop Bootcamp altogether..

    Mojave only supports Windows 10 in BC anyway, and since upgrading from High sierra, (tested on Mac Mini), they removed the option under "Startup disk" on OS X to automatically reboot back into Windows, so looks like its heading this way.
  24. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    I think Apple and Microsoft will work together to develop a solution for this (Windows on ARM). Those two companies realize that they gain a lot more from a partnership today.
  25. GeneralChang macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2013
    Microsoft especially I'm sure recognizes that since the vast majority of their profit comes from software licenses and subscriptions, it's to their benefit to have as many people using their products as possible regardless of the hardware it's running on.

    Apple's benefit from supporting Windows via avenues other than virtualization may be slightly lower, but they are also undoubtedly aware that there are some folks who only buy Macs because they know they can also run Windows on them. So yeah, that's a relationship that'll probably continue.

    Especially since if we do see A-series chips in Macs in the next few years, they'll probably start out on MacBooks only and take another five+ years to propagate through the entire Mac lineup. Plenty of time to bring it back together if the first iteration looses bootcamp support in the process.

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