A report from DigiTimes (via @chiakokhua) states that Intel’s 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors have been delayed to the very end of 2023. Originally slated to enter mass production in late 2022 using the Intel 4 process is reportedly in jeopardy. These chips were designed to leverage a chiplet or tiled architecture fabbed on different process nodes, including TSMC’s 3nm N3 for the iGPU tile. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is planning his third visit to Taiwan in August to meet TSMC officials and discuss revised foundry capacity plans to tackle this problem.
If Intel’s 14th Gen Meteor Lake processors get delayed, it’ll be Skylake all over again. Only, this time AMD isn’t lagging behind and has competitive products at every price point. A delayed launch would severely damage Intel’s image among consumers, granting AMD a major chunk of the market yet again.
TSMC was originally supposed to fab only the iGPU of Meteor Lake on its 3nm node. If this development is true, then Intel might be forced to outsource the CPU compute tile as well. It would be manufactured on the 5nm or the 3nm node depending on the available capacity and specifications. Keep in mind that this is an extreme case scenario, the chances of which transpiring are quite low.
Earlier, there had been several rumors claiming that Intel would be one of the first clients to receive 3nm wafer capacity alongside Apple. TSMC has reportedly set up a separate supply line to ensure an ample supply of chips for the chip giant. A delayed Meteor Lake launch would result in heavy losses for both TSMC and Intel, and unless a backup outsourcing strategy is already in place, there’s not much either will be able to do.