Intel held an event today in Ireland for Fab 34’s big day. The new extreme ultraviolet (EUV) line is now up and running in “high-volume production” for Intel 4. The new production line delivers another new node for Meteor Lake client CPUs. This is a big deal for the company as it starts to advance its process technology past Intel 7.
New Intel 4 EUV Fab Enters Production in Ireland
The announcement is really interesting and shows just how much volume client CPUs consume. While Emerald Rapids (5th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable) is targeting a December 14, 2023 release date, it will not be using this new process, instead sticking to Intel 7. Sierra Forest and Granite Rapids are supposed to be on Intel 3, the next iteration of EUV process in 2024. Still, getting an EUV line running is a big deal, and this is said to be the first EUV line in Europe. Currently, there is an effort to decentralize chip production, and Intel has been pushing for subsidies in places like the EU and US to help make that a reality.
One of the big milestones today is that Intel was able to successfully transfer its leading production process node from its development fab in Oregon to another location, and an international one at that.
There are two ways to look at today’s announcement. First, it is a great achievement. Modern fabs are complex modern marvels. Moving a new line is not an easy task. The other way to look at it is that it is the second stop of Intel’s five nodes in four years. That means while this is exciting, there are three new process nodes coming to Intel (Intel 3, 20A, 18A) between 2024-2025 and Intel 3 products are set to be released in the next 3 quarters with Sierra Forest.
This EUV production announcement feels a bit like a milestone which is a “great job, but what is next?” Stay tuned to STH for what is next.