Intel Delays 10nm ‘Cannon Lake’ Processors To Late 2019

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Four years late. Fresh delay for next generation Cannon Lake processors, with mainstream release now only expected in late 2019

Intel has again delayed the release of its next-generation Cannon Lake chips until the end of 2019.

The news sent shares in the chipmaker down almost 5 percent in extended trading, as the firm also faced increased competition from the likes of Advanced Micro Devices.

And it has been a troubled period for the giant chipmaker. In June chief executive Brian Krzanich left the company with immediate effect after he had a consensual relationship with an employee. And it has emerged that Intel is also being investigated for alleged age discrimination practices against older employees during its massive jobs cull in 2016.

Financial performance

On the surface Intel seems to be performing well financially. For the second quarter ending 30 June for example, Intel posted a net profit up 78 percent at $5bn (£3.8bn), from $2.8bn (£2.1bn) a year ago.

Revenue meanwhile rose 15 percent to $17bn (£13bn) from $14.8bn (£11.3bn) in the same year-ago period.

Data centre sales are an increasingly important element for Intel, as they are more profitable that sales of processors for the PC market.

Intel’s data centre sales for the quarter rose to 26.9 percent to $5.55bn (£4.2bn), but analysts had expected revenue of $5.63bn (£4.3bn).

The PC-centric business grew 6 percent to $8.73bn (£6.6bn) driven by strong demand, with particular strength in gaming and commercial, said Intel.

“After five decades in tech, Intel is poised to deliver our third record year in a row,” said Bob Swan, Intel CFO and Interim CEO.

“We are uniquely positioned to capitalise on the need to process, store and move data, which has never been more pervasive or more valuable,” he added.

“Intel is now competing for a $260 billion market opportunity, and our second quarter results show that we’re winning,” Swan said. “As a result of the continued strength we are seeing across the business, we are raising our full year revenue and earnings outlook.”

Canon Lake delay

But Reuters reported that on a conference call, Swan confirmed that the arrival of its next-generation 10nm chips would be delayed yet again.

CFO Swan said Intel expected PCs with 10nm chips to be in stores during the 2019 holiday season (i.e late 2019).

Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chip architecture chief, reportedly said on the call that 10nm data centre chips will be released “shortly after” the consumer PC chips, meaning these enterprise chips will only likely appear in 2020.

This is yet another delay, as Intel had said in the previous quarter that its 10nm chips were being pushed from 2018 to sometime in 2019.

To give people an idea of how bad a delay this all is, Intel had originally predicted the 10nm Cannon Lake chips would be ready by 2015.

It is thought that technical challenges in shrinking transistors, coupled with the cost of manufacturing, has caused the delay.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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