Intel’s next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs would be the first to be built on the 20A process node, but those plans have reportedly changed as the company now focuses on using TSMC’s 3nm node.
Intel is reportedly dropping its own 20A node and moving to TSMC’s 3nm for next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs
Rumors circulated that Intel dropped its 20A process node, which would play a major role in the development of the next generation of Arrow Lake CPUs. The first rumors came from Twitter colleague @Xinoassassin1, which stated that Intel might drop 20A in favor of TSMC’s 3nm node. It had been pointed out that TSMC’s N3B node was in discussion to be the potential candidate for Arrow Lake, the base version of TSMC’s 3nm process node to enter production in 2H 2022.
— Xino (@xinoassassin1) July 4, 2023
The TSMC 3nm product roadmap also included N3P and N3P, which offer higher performance and also lower power. Meanwhile, Intel 20A has been looking for a very strong competitor to TSMC’s 3nm offering, but it looks like Arrow Lake may be missing out on that, as another leaker pointed out this possible design change.
According to Golden Pig Upgrade, who is very accurate with his leaks, it seems that this rumor could indeed be true as the same has been said by him. It has been revealed that Intel’s latest roadmap no longer mentions 20A and that the company has gone to an outside foundry (referring to TSMC & 3nm) to produce Arrow Lake CPUs.
We know from Intel’s own presentation that the CPU “Compute Tile” was intended to use the Intel 20A process node, while the GPU tile was going to be based on the TSMC 3nm node. In addition, other nodes would be used for the rest of the titles, including the IO and the SOC tile. So it looks like we’ll see Arrow Lake Compute tiles at least on Intel 3, but the rest should mainly use TSMC’s 3nm node.
- Intel Arrow Lake “official” – 20A Compute Tile / TSMC 3nm GPU Tile / TSMC 3nm IO & SOC
- Intel Arrow Lake “Rumor” – Intel 3 Compute Tile / TSMC 3nm GPU Tile / TSMC 3nm IO & SOC
However, it has not been confirmed whether this change will apply to only one specific segment or to all segments. Intel is skipping Meteor Lake-S Desktop CPUs in favor of Arrow Lake-S CPUs which should appear in Q4 2024 or Q1 2025. The company will also replace its mobility lineup with the 2nd generation Core Ultra family based on the Arrow Lake architecture.
So far there’s been no official confirmation from Intel on this matter but I doubt they’ll act on such rumors for now as any of these speakers have a very accurate history it seems very likely that 20A has been pushed back and Chipzilla has to rely on TSMC for one of its major next-gen CPU launches.
Intel Mobility CPU Lineup:
|CPU family||Arrow more||Meteor lake||Raptor more||Else more|
|Process node (CPU tile)||Intel 20A “5nm EUV”||Intel 4 ‘7nm EUV’||Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’||Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’|
|Process Node (GPU Tile)||TSMC 3nm||TSMC 5nm||Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’||Intel 7 ’10nm ESF’|
|CPU architecture||Hybrid (four cores)||Hybrid (triple core)||Hybrid (dual core)||Hybrid (dual core)|
|P-Core architecture||Lion Bay||Redwood Cove||Raptor bay||Golden bay|
|Top configuration||To be determined||6+8 (H series)||6+8 (H series)
8+16 (HX series)
|6+8 (H series)
8+8 (HX series)
|Maximum cores / threads||To be determined||14/20||14/20||14/20|
|Planned lineup||H/P/U series||H/P/U series||H/P/U series||H/P/U series|
|GPU architecture||Xe2 Battle Mage ‘Xe-LPG’
Xe3 sky “Xe-LPG”
|Xe-LPG ‘Xe-MTL’||Iris Xe (Gen 12)||Iris Xe (Gen 12)|
|GPU execution units||192 EUs (1024 cores)?||128 EUs (1024 cores)||96 EUs (768 cores)||96 EUs (768 cores)|
|Memory support||To be determined||DDR5-5600
LPDDR5X – 7400+
|Memory Capacity (Max)||To be determined||96GB||64GB||64GB|
|Thunderbolt 4 ports||To be determined||4||4||4|
|WiFi capability||To be determined||WiFi 6E||WiFi 6E||WiFi 6E|
|TDP||To be determined||15-45W||15-55W||15-55W|
|Launch||2H 2024?||2H 2023||1H 2023||1H 2022|