Intel details CPU roadmap through 2025, beyond nanometers

Intel details CPU roadmap through 2025, beyond nanometers

Intel hasn't done a great job of sticking to its die shrink roadmaps, originally planning to launch 10nm desktop CPUs in 2015, but only really managing that later this in 2021. That doesn't mean it isn't planning for the future, though, and it's now released its CPU roadmap for the next five years, showing how it will transition through the sub-10nm process, and what it plans to do afterwards.

Intel's plan for 2021 is to release Alder Lake, its first 10nm SuperFin desktop range with a unique big.LITTLE core design. According to its roadmap, it will then move forward with 7nm on an enhanced FinFET architecture. From there it will use EUV Lithography to deliver a 4nm process, before moving to 3nm using a Denser High Performance Library.

After that, things get even more interesting. It's long been wondered what the major chip manufacturers would do to improve the density of their processes after they could no longer shrink the die down by reducing the gaps between the transistors. Once you're down to almost single nanometres, what other gaps are there to close?

According to Intel, it will move vertically instead, but may still reduce the distance between transistors and to make that clear, it's shifting to a new naming scheme: Angstroms. 20 Angstroms is the same as 2nm, so we may see a reduction to 18 Angstrom, 15 Angstrom, and so on.

All in all, the result of this will be a general increase in performance per watt. No major increases, it seems, so it will be interesting to see how all of this competes against AMD in the years to come.