Intel Reportedly Delays TSMC 3nm Orders for 15th Gen Arrow Lake CPUs

In late January, we reported that Intel secured a leading “cloud, edge, and data center solutions provider” that will use its Intel 3 node. Intel is bolstering its efforts to sign lucrative contracts for its Intel Foundry Services arm, a lynchpin in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s efforts to increase revenue.

But while Intel produces most of its chips (and produces chips for other vendors), it also has contracts with competitors like Taiwan Semiconductor Corporation (TSMC) to produce chips for its Arc discrete GPU family. To that end, DigiTimes reports that Intel’s collaboration with TSMC on products using the latter’s 3nm node has hit a slight snag.

Previous reports indicated that Intel’s 15th generation disaggregated multi-tile/multi-chiplet Arrow Lake processors, which will purportedly use TSMC 3nm for the GPU tile, would launch in Q3 2024. Now, it’s reported that Intel is delaying orders with TSMC until Q4 2024. So if this report is accurate, the first Arrow Lake processor will trickle in late Q4 2024 into Q1 2025.

However, Arrow Lake is roughly two years away, so we’re quibbling about a couple of months for a product two generations out. Leading up to Arrow Lake, Intel will allegedly launch Raptor Lake-S desktop processors later this year with enhanced performance for enthusiasts and workstation markets. Raptor Lake-S will be followed by the 14th generation Meteor Lake family later this year. “On Intel 4, we are ready today for manufacturing and we look forward to the MTL (Meteor Lake) ramp in the second half of the year,” said Gelsinger during Intel’s Q4 2022 earnings call.

Meteor Lake will be the first collaborative effort with TSMC on the CPU side. It is comprised of an Intel 4 (7nm) compute tile along with TSMC-manufactured GPU (5nm) and SoC (6nm) tiles using Foveros 3D technology that we first saw with the mostly forgotten Lakefield processors. In addition, meteor Lake will also become Intel’s first CPU family to incorporate extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

DigiTimes alleges that the Meteor Lake laptop processors will launch before their desktop counterparts, a change from Intel’s Raptor Lake and Alder Lake cadence. It’s also suspected that Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake will share a common platform, like Alder Lake and Raptor Lake, meaning we’ll get a new socket and chipsets.

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