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Intel Announces Completion of 20A and 18A Process Development
The question of Intel's technological dropout no longer seems as topical as it was five or six years ago.
The American semiconductor giant has just killed two birds with one stone. Remember, in July 2021, Intel was taking stock of its technological future. After years of being bogged down in the transition to the 10nm process, Intel had replaced its CEO and, as soon as he arrived, Pat Gelsinger wanted to get Intel back on track by setting ambitious medium-term goals: the development of the 20A (for 20 angstroms) etching technology was one of them.
A little less than two years after the presentation of what is a 5nm etching process, Intel is therefore able to confirm that the design phase is complete. Relayed by Tom's Hardware, the words of Wang Rui, head of Intel's Chinese division, are very reassuring for the American giant. Indeed, Wang Rui explains that there will be no more changes on the 20A process and that Intel is well in line with its roadmap. However, there is no question of producing chips in 20A from now on.
Intel engineers have completed this phase of work to determine the specifications of the etching process, its material needs and its requirements. It is now possible for the American company to order everything necessary to upgrade its production lines and, only afterwards, Intel will be able to launch mass production of 20A components. Several months will be necessary before Intel can release its first 20A CPUs, which should happen with the Arrow Lake range, which is expected for the beginning of 2024, if everything continues to go well.
At the beginning of this brief, we talked about killing two birds with one stone, because Wang Rui did not settle for 20A. In fact, the head of Intel's Chinese division confirmed that the next engraving process is also on track. The design phase of the 18A is also complete and, as with the 20A, Intel must now turn to upgrading its production lines. Of course, the first 18A chips will arrive after the 20A ones and, according to the latest leaked Intel roadmap, there is no question of seeing 18A chips before the second half of 2024. Patience, patience.