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Intel CEO Reportedly Visiting TSMC Next Month As 14th Gen Meteor Lake Reportedly Pushed Back To Late 2023

Intel’s CEO is rumored to be visiting Taiwan’s TSMC (Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) as reports indicate an alleged delay in production of the 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors.

Alleged delay of 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors to late 2023 may force Intel CEO to visit TSMC to revise 3nm production plans

Just a few hours ago, we reported that Intel’s Process Node 4, which will feature 14th Gen Meteor Lake as its flagship, is expected to go into mass production in the second half of 2022. Now it was reported by DigiTimes in a follow-up post that Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger may be heading to TSMC in Taiwan to review plans for their 3nm production plans. The TSMC 3nm process node is expected to be used for manufacturing the tiled GPU which will be one of four chiplets integrated into Meteor Lake. Here is a brief summary of the report as posted by a Twitter member, Retired engineer:

  • Internally, Intel launched an “emergency fix” to its “platform master plan” and its “own process production capacity plan for the coming year.” CEO Pat Gelsinger is widely rumored to be planning to travel to Taiwan for the third time in August to meet with TSMC President Mark Liu and CEO CC Wei to discuss these revised plans.
  • Intel’s 14th Gen Meteor Lake, originally slated to enter mass production in late 2022 for a 1H’2023 launch, has been delayed to late 2023. As the Meteor Lake GPU tile is outsourced to TSMC, this delay will disrupt TSMC’s 3nm. plans.
  • According to industry sources, Intel will pay a heavy price if Meteor Lake is delayed. Intel and TSMC had already signed an outsourcing agreement elevating Intel to “heavenly king” customer status. Earlier there were rumors that TSMC, after confirming receipt of the huge order from Intel, and in order to part ways with Apple, had proceeded with the conversion of what was originally planned as a data center. R&D and a mini-line (P8–P9, at Baoshan Fab2 gigafab expansion phase) in a second 3nm production site. Contractually, TSMC would have been on schedule to produce the 3nm GPU panel. However, if Intel’s own Intel Compute Tile 4 is not ready for production due to “market conditions” and technical process issues, and Intel wants TSMC to delay production as well, then Intel must absorb all losses incurred.
  • But, there are also rumors that Intel is forced to come up with an alternate plan, which is to continue production of the 3nm GPU tile as originally planned, and retarget/outsource the compute tile to TSMC 5 nm or even 3 nm. This may cause Intel to “lose face”, but will allow Intel to “temporarily catch its breath” and reduce costs.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is pictured at its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

The report says Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger will visit Taiwan-based TSMC next month for an “emergency fix” of its own process production capacity plan for next year. This will be the Intel CEO’s third visit to TSMC and the renegotiations primarily relate to TSMC’s 3nm process node that Intel had leveraged for use on its Meteor Lake processor’s tiled GPU. The tGPU is codenamed for the tiled graphics architecture which will be a separate chiplet from the main compute tile which is fabricated on Intel’s own 4 or 7 nm EUV process node.

The 14th Gen Intel Meteor Lake processors were originally slated for launch in the first half of 2023, but that was reportedly delayed to the second half of 2023 or even late 2023. So if the Intel Meteor Lake chips experience a delay, the company must pay a high price as the company had already signed a deal with TSMC for plans to outsource production and was elevated to “heavenly king” status. More so, the company would be forced to not only continue with its 3nm tiled GPU design at TSMC, but also move the tiled compute to TSMC’s 5nm or even 3nm process node, which would mean that some chips might end up being produced entirely at TSMC to save its own face and also save the costs it would otherwise have to incur due to the delay.

Intel CEO Reportedly Visiting TSMC Next Month As 14th Gen Meteor Lake Reportedly Pushed Back To Late 2023 1
An Intel Meteor Lake Fab 42 test chip. (Image credits: CNET)

It’s only a rumor for now, but recently leaked platform details for the 13th Gen Meteor Lake processors confirm that the mainstream launch is slated for sometime in the second half of 2023. not exactly when, but a 2H 2023 will already be a delay if reports of Intel’s plans to launch Meteor Lake processors at 1H 2023 are correct. Again, this is all just a rumor and we hope Meteor Lake CPUs will go as planned without any issues or production delays.

Intel Mobility Processor Family:

Processor family meteor lake raptor lake Alder Lake
Process node Intel 4’7nm EUV’ Intel 7′ 10nm ESF’ Intel 7′ 10nm ESF’
CPU architecture Hybrid (triple core) Hybrid (Dual-Core) Hybrid (Dual-Core)
P-Core Architecture redwood cove Raptor Cove Golden Cove
E-Core Architecture Crestmont Gracemont Gracemont
Top configuration 6+8 (H-series) 6+8 (H-series) 6+8 (H-series)
Maximum number of cores/threads 14/20 14/20 14/20
Planned programming H/P/U-Series H/P/U-Series H/P/U-Series
GPU architecture Xe2 Battlemage ‘Xe-LPG’ Iris Xe (Gen 12) Iris Xe (Gen 12)
GPU execution units 128 EU (1024 cores) 96 EUs (768 cores) 96 EUs (768 cores)
Memory Support DDR5-5600
LPDDR5-7400
LPDDR5X – 7400+
DDR5-5200
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5-6400
DDR5-4800
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5X-4267
Memory Capacity (Max) 96 GB 64 GB 64 GB
Thunderbolt 4 ports 4 2 2
Wi-Fi capability WiFi 6E WiFi 6E WiFi 6E
PDT 15-45W 15-45W 15-45W
Launch 2H 2023 1H 2023 1H 2022

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