By Anton Shilov, ETimes (October 1, 2020)
At its Architecture Day last month Intel Corp. disclosed some additional details about its upcoming process technologies and how they will affect its product lineup from 2020 and onwards. Furthermore, Intel revealed its packaging technologies roadmap, which is crucial for its next-generation CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and other products for different market segments. Finally, the company disclosed its new chiplet ideology that promises to change the way how Intel builds its chips.
In search of new Intel
Throughout its history Intel has had multiple key building blocks that enabled its growth and prosperity: microarchitectures that offered the right balance between simplicity and performance; top-notch process technologies and production capacities; and corporate strength coupled with a well-known brand. But the world is constantly evolving and what was good enough 10 years ago is not enough for today. Intel tends to recognize strategic inflection points early enough to respond to new challenges. So, when the company realized that it needed to offer more than CPUs to stay ahead of the competition, it introduced client and server platforms in the early 2000s and acquired FPGA and various AI/ML/DL companies in the second half of 2010s to gain appropriate assets.
But getting new assets is only a part of the job for a multi-billion corporation like Intel. To fully reinvent itself for the incoming, Intel needs the right set of building blocks to make new products. This is where new process technologies come in, only this time it is not enough for Intel to have the right manufacturing nodes. The company needs to build heterogeneous multi-chip/multi-tile solutions to address new workloads. Building them requires advanced 2.5D and 3D packaging technologies. Furthermore, Intel might need to embrace third-party manufacturing technologies at a larger scale than it does today, beyond its chipsets, FPGAs, and others products (Mobileye, Movidius, etc.).
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