Through the looking glass: Intel's years-long delay in getting 10nm-based chips out the door was its own fault, CEO Robert Swan said during Fortune's recent tech conference. "At a time when [manufacturing] was getting harder and harder, we set a more and more aggressive goal." As a result, it simply took the company longer than expected to complete the job.

At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen this week, Intel CEO Robert Swan was asked why his company was roughly five years late in delivering chips built on 10-nanometer technology.

Swan, who was named Intel’s permanent chief executive in January 2019 after a seven-month search, said the delay was “somewhat a function of what we’ve been able to do in the past” which “in essence was defying the odds on scaling the infrastructure.”

The executive said they “prioritized performance at a time when predictability was really important.” In short, he added, “we learned from it, we’ll get our 10-nanometer node out this year.”

As for the future, Swan said there’s “lots of road left in Moore’s Law.” Parts based on Intel’s 7-nanometer process will be out in two years, he confirmed.

Swan stepped in to fill the vacant CEO role after Brian Krzanich exited following a relationship with an Intel employee. The relationship was said to be consensual but violated company policy nevertheless. Swan is unique in that he is the first Intel CEO to not be a “company lifer,” having only joined the chipmaker in late 2016.

Masthead credit: Silicon wafers by fotografos