Intel plans to return to the competition cycle in a few years by introducing and developing newer processing nodes and currently has 3, 20A and 18A nodes in its plan for the near future. The company was able to release Alder Lake processors on the Intel 7 node in 2021 and finally get rid of the 14nm node after six years. Intel Node 7 is used for Alder Lake and Raptor Lake processors and Xe-HP and Xe-HPC graphics cards. Now that Intel has been able to work on better nodes, Development of 14A and 10A nodes using EUV lithography technology has also put it on his agenda.
Intel nodes 20A, 18A, 14A and 10A
Intel is currently working on the Intel 4 node, which is actually a 7nm node and is used in the 14th and 15th generation Meteor Lake and Granite Lake processors. This node is supposed to offer up to 20% better performance per watt (PPW) than the 10nm Intel 7 node, and uses ultra violet (EUV) lithography technology. In the Intel node 3, EUV technology will be used better to improve PPW by 18% compared to the previous node.
The 20A and 18A nodes will evolve Intel’s EUV technology developed by ASML to the point where they can produce a 1.8nm node by 2024. These nodes have not been used in any processors yet, but their transistors are RibbonFET and not FinFET. In general, RibbonFET transistors have replaced FinFET transistors over the past year.
ASML company is going to produce the first 1nm node by 2028; But before that, it develops the 14A or 1.4nm node for Intel.
EUV lithography is expensive in general, and the research that goes into its development is even more expensive, and the cost of producing newer devices that can produce smaller nodes for use in new processors is very high. Currently, the price of an EUV lithography machine is close to 150 million dollars and will reach 400 million dollars in the future.
Intel has not yet announced any time window for the development of 18A and 20A nodes, but according to the five-year plan developed by Intel in 2021, these nodes should be in development right now.
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