Intel just started shipping its first 22nm silicon with the release of Ivy Bridge in April, but the company is already looking ahead to the next advancements in process technology. In fact, the roadmap for 10nm, 7nm and 5nm processes is already locked down, and the company is preparing to upgrade fabs in the United States and Ireland to make chips using the 14nm fabrication method.
The 14nm process is still being developed, of course, and is not expected to be ready for production until sometime around 2014 when “Broadwell” arrives. The latter will be a die shrink of Haswell, which itself will be based on the same 22nm process as Ivy Bridge as part of Intel's 'tick-tock' development cycle.
Slides of Intel's roadmap were posted to XbitLabs along with a quote from CEO Paul Otellini reminding investors that the company’s R&D is quite deep and looks decades in advance. If everything goes as planned Intel will start shipping 10nm processors in 2015, with work on 7nm technology beginning soon after.
Staying ahead of its rivals in process technology will not only be key to maintain its dominance of the desktop processor industry, but also to break into the mobile space with powerful yet efficient chips.