It’s not hard to remember a time when it seemed like Intel was an unbeatable, immovable giant in computing, with AMD filling in the low end of the spectrum and ARM-designed chips on mobile. But apparently, all you have to do to get a giant to fall is to let it trip itself. Intel has struggled to offer competitive products in recent years and is now seeing pressure from AMD, Nvidia, and ARM. Now, a major delay has kicked off some reorganization within the company.
Last week, Intel announced that it would delay its transition to the 7-nm node, and won’t deliver even a 10-nm chip until the latter half of 2021. The company is introducing its its 10-nm Tiger Lake CPUs soon, along with Ice Lake CPUs intended for use in servers. Its Alder Lake desktop CPUs and Sapphire Rapids server CPUs, built on the 10-nm node, in the second half of 2021. Intel pushed out its 7-nm plans by a full 12 months.
As a result of this delay, Intel announced that it will begin reorganization within the company. According to PCWorld, the company will break up its Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group, and executive officer dr. Murthy Renduchintala is leaving the organization. His TSCG group will be broken up into five teams, each of which will report to Intel CEO Bob Swan.
Dr. Ann Kelleher will head Technology Development; Keyvan Esfarjani will lead Manufacturing and Operations; Raja Koduri will continue to run Architecture, Software and Graphics, and Dr. Randhir Thakur will continue to head Supply Chain.
The company is looking at shifting some of its silicon production to TSMC–particularly for its upcoming Xe GPU architecture–though DigiTimes reports (via TechPowerUp) that TSMC is likely to increase capacity for its new client.
New Logos, More Competition
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Intel is also in the process of overhauling its corporate identity, having registered a bunch of new trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including a new look for the Intel Inside logo.
Intel is hardly dead, of course. Intel’s market cap dwarfs that of AMD at $205 billion versus $90 billion. But Intel is seeing pressure from all sides. Not only are ARM-powered mobile devices more popular than ever, Apple is switching to its own ARM-based silicon. On the processor front, AMD continues to offer CPUs with more cores and better prices. Intel still wins the per-core race, but the competition is hot. And now, Intel is looking to get into offering GPUs at almost every level from integrated GPUs to discrete gaming GPUs up through HPC, and that puts them in Nvidia‘s sights. That’s a lot for one company to compete with, so it’s hardly surprising that the company is struggling to keep up.