It’s no secret that Intel has been suffering from processor supply shortages. As the company ramps up 10nm chip production, the present 14nm node which essentially includes all the Coffee Lake chips is facing severe shortages.
At the same time, AMD is putting up a stiff competition to Intel, offering products at every price point with similar or better performance. The launch of the Ryzen 3000 series only accentuated the problem for team blue.
Over the past couple of months, the company repeatedly asserted that the problem was under control, much to the dismay of critics and analysts. Now, the cat is out of the bag and Intel has finally admitted that “despite their best efforts, they still haven’t been able to resolve the challenge”.
In an update to consumers and partners, Intel Exec, Michelle Johnston Holthaus apologized to all those affected by the shortage and blamed the “Sustained market growth in 2019” as the primary reason. According to Holthaus, Intel was able to increase their second half CPU output by double digits but even that wasn’t enough.
The way I see it is that Intel seems to have found itself in a spot of bad luck. The company is currently in the process of migrating to the 10nm node and has been ramping up production for the same. However, the 14nm Skylake core is still far from discarded. The upcoming Comet Lake-S CPUs set to succeed Coffee lake are also said to leverage the same architecture and so will Rocket Lake.
According to industry sources, Intel is looking to outsource some of its 14nm supply from third-party foundries. As for who will be the lucky winner, we’re looking at Samsung and TSMC who are already fabbing some of Intel’s existing products. Samsung will fabricate the 14nm Rocket lake parts while TSMC is already manufacturing the Nervana, Barefoot and Mobileeye chips.