Forward-looking: Are you looking forward to Intel’s mainstream 10-nanometer desktop CPUs? It seems you might have a while to wait. According to leaked slides purportedly showing Chipzilla's processor roadmap, Intel will be sticking with refined versions of its 14nm process in the desktop space for a few more years.
The leaked roadmap comes courtesy of Dutch site Tweakers. Bear in mind that we can’t 100 percent guarantee its authenticity.
When it comes to desktop chips, it appears Intel is keeping with the 14nm++ process for a while. The Comet Lake-S processors, which were recently reported to have up to 10 cores, will launch around the second quarter of 2020. After this comes Rocket Lake-S, which will also be based on the 14nm process, albeit a further refined one.
This suggests we won’t see a 10nm desktop Core CPU until 2022, which is when Intel is expected to release its Ocean Cove processor architecture, which follows 2021’s Golden Cove and 2020’s Willow Cove.
Things are a bit different on the mobile front, where the first 10nm Ice Lake chips are scheduled to arrive later this year. The process will be used for low-powered U-series and Y-series chips, but the slide has it down as “limited” production, which means we won’t see Ice Lake CPUs in too many devices. We can expect to see more Comet Lake-U CPUs and other 14nm-based mobile chips in the future: the H and G series appear to be sticking with this process until at least 2021.
The chart also mentions Rocket Lake-U. Based on the 14nm process and set to launch in the middle of next year, these chips have up to six cores combined with a 10nm-based GPU.
Intel has been struggling with 10nm for some time. The company claimed in its recent earnings report that it expects to ship more 10nm Ice Lake-U parts than anticipated. But having to wait years before seeing mainstream desktop parts based on this process is disappointing, especially with AMD’s Ryzen 3000-series CPUs, based on 7nm Zen 2 architecture, on their way.