Intel’s slow progress in semiconductor advanced manufacturing process for several years, from the same x86
AMD in the CPU camp, as well as many competitors from the Arm camp, put Intel facing considerable pressure in the consumer-grade Core CPU or enterprise-grade Xeon CPU market. Intel’s new CEO, Pat Kissinger (Pat
Gelsinger), is working hard to change this situation.
In March, Pat Kissinger announced the Intel IDM2.0 strategy;
In April, Intel launched the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor;
In June, at the Six Five Summit, Intel’s new infrastructure processor IPU was launched;
In July, Pat announced the most detailed process technology and packaging technology roadmap in Intel’s history, and said that Intel will return to process leadership in 2025;
In August, Intel Architecture Day announced the first high-performance hybrid architecture Alder Lake, a new high-performance independent GPU architecture, a new IPU architecture, and details of the data center GPU architecture.
This week, at the Intel On Technology Innovation Summit, Intel launched the Alder Lake 12th-generation Core processor. The architecture has undergone the biggest transformation in a decade, and the performance has been greatly improved. At the same time, Intel emphasizes software first and further strengthens the developer ecosystem.
After Pat Kissinger took office, a series of actions aimed at releasing a clear message to the outside world-Intel is back!
Is Intel really back?
How to view competition?
Compared with Intel’s series of strategies and new product releases this year, the outside world is more concerned about how Intel responds to the current market competition. Intel has long maintained its leadership in the desktop and high-performance CPU markets. However, the frustration of the 10nm process has causedAMDHave the opportunity to use TSMC’s advanced semiconductor technology to win the desktop CPU market,AppleThe self-developed M1 chip released by this major customer puts a lot of pressure on Intel.
While the consumer CPU market is facing competition, Intel has also ushered in new competitors in the lucrative high-performance computing CPU market. Demands such as cloud computing and AI have led Amazon and Ali to develop Arm-based server CPUs. Intel has suffered from the enemy in the CPU field where it is best.
Wang Rui, Senior Vice President of Intel Corporation and Chairman of Intel China
For this situation,Wang Rui, who was promoted to Intel’s senior vice president and chairman of Intel China in September of this year, spoke frankly with Leifeng.com (Public Account: Leifeng.com) during the Intel On Technology Innovation Summit: “Intel’s execution in the past few years It’s been a little slower, and we can’t provide our customers with the differentiation they need. So from a certain angle, customers make this choice.”
She also said at the same time, “Competition in the market is not a bad thing, especially considering it from a global perspective. When we have the most advanced chip, we have the confidence to negotiate and collaborate with our partners again, and then look at it. See if they can win back their business.
Just as it is very difficult for the tech giants to make up their minds to develop self-developed chips, it is also difficult to look back after tasting the sweetness of self-developed chips. A good example isMicrosoftAnd Apple, one of the two companies is the representative of the open system and the other is the representative of the closed system. At first, the closed system won, then the open system won, and then back to the closed system.
To win back these customers, the best way is to launch chips that are stronger than their self-developed chips, or to find new ways of cooperation. At this time, advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes have become very important again.
The basis for winning back customers-leading process
Advanced manufacturing processes are the basis for the continuous advancement of the semiconductor industry. Intel has also maintained its leadership by relying on advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes in the past few decades. However, starting in 2015, Moore’s Law began to slow down, and comments that Moore’s Law failed.
At the Intel On Technology Innovation Summit, Kissinger said, “Moore’s Law is still valid, and we will maintain Moore’s Law in the next ten years, even faster than Moore’s Law.”Kissinger is not shouting slogans. According to his previously announced route, Intel will iterate the five-generation process in the next four years.
As long as Moore’s Law continues to be effective, the semiconductor manufacturing process is iterated every 18 months to two years. Intel wants to catch up with the current industry leaders faster than Moore’s Law.
“We are running the marathon at a sprint speed.” Wang Rui described Intel’s current state and expressed its determination to return to process leadership.
She also explained that Moore’s Law is not a law of physics, it is a law of economy.If you look at it from a very specialized and primitive perspective, there is indeed post-Moore’s law. But the essence of Moore’s Law is to provide economic value, so as long as there are technological breakthroughs, solutions are found, and economic value continues to be provided, Moore’s Law can be maintained.
For Intel, execution is the key to regaining process leadership.
“In the past few years, we have had some setbacks in execution, and we have fallen a few somersaults” Wang Rui said: “Intel has been using it year after year, and the product generation after it has been launched on time has proved Intel’s most famous It’s Intel’s execution power. Our biggest competitor is ourselves.”
Once Intel has regained its leadership in advanced manufacturing processes, it will have the technical foundation to win back customers, and at the same time it will be able to have new cooperation with customers of self-developed chips. The core change of Intel IDM2.0 is to provide customers with chip foundry services. “We can not only provide customers with advanced manufacturing processes, but under the same manufacturing process, our advanced packaging technology can also help our customers.” Wang Rui pointed out.
A more open ecology is the strongest competitiveness
The leadership of advanced process technology is Intel’s most basic and core competitiveness, but the ecology based on advanced process and hardware is all its competitiveness.
Wang Rui said: “Intel is very aware of its own advantages and the market competition it faces. Before the release of a new generation of more competitive high-performance CPU Sapphire Rapids, our ecology played an important role. We want to create new high-performance computing data. Central ecology, the investment in the entire structure is very large, and this is a long-term investment.”
Relying on the advantages of the ecology, Intel is also providing more cost-effective CPUs through architectural innovation before the advanced manufacturing process returns to the leading position.
Sunil Kaimal, vice president of Intel’s Client Computing Division, said at the Intel On Technology Innovation Summit: “The 12th generation Intel Core processor Alder Lake, based on the Intel 7 process technology, adopts a high-performance hybrid architecture, including performance cores and energy efficiency cores. Brings a great performance improvement over the next generation. This is the biggest change in the x86 architecture in the past ten years. At the same time, we have a deep partnership with Microsoft, and the close collaboration between the two parties can intelligently and give full play to the latest generation of Core processing The advantages of processor performance core and energy efficiency core can achieve higher performance and efficiency in real scenarios.”
The 12-generation Core i9-12900K match in the Geekbench 5 databaseWindowsThe running scores of the 11 platform show that the single-threaded CPU scores 1834 and the multi-threaded score 17370, which is 11% and 5.6% higher than AMD’s latest generation of 16-core flagship CPU Ryzen 9 5950X in single-core and 5.6%, respectively. The powerful M1 Max’s multi-core running score of 12559 also has obvious advantages.
More importantly, Intel is also adapting to customers’ demands for computing power under new demands.In the past, Intel’s attitude was that the next-generation CPU customers needed was the CPU they provided.
“We have known for a long time that in a complex and diverse digital society, we must be closer to the end users and have a mechanism for common development in order to provide users with differentiated solutions and services.” Wang Rui further stated, “In order to compensate and end users There is a natural shortcoming at some distance, and we are closely integrated with our partners.”
This is closely reflected in Intel’s software priority and more attention to the development of the developer community.
Software is the product closest to developers and customers. For most developers and customers, they don’t care about the underlying hardware architecture and hardware scheduling methods. What makes them pay is easy-to-use and stable software. And higher cost performance.
Intel has launched oneAPI, a unified development platform across hardware architectures (CPU, GPU, FPGA, ASIC), and continues to improve its performance, including the newly announced oneAPI 2022, adding 900 new features, and launching a complete Intel Developer Directory Reduce the difficulty for developers to use and play Intel hardware, and lower the barriers to innovation for developers.
It is also important that Intel builds the ecosystem with a more open mind. What Pat Kissinger proposed is to provide developers with an open, selective, and trustworthy open source ecosystem. This is both Intel’s goal and Intel’s challenge.
“It is not easy to build an open source community. Even companies with strong capabilities like Intel and Alibaba cannot build the entire ecosystem with just one company. We need to work together with many partners.”Wang Rui said, “Intel is running a marathon with many partners.”
Write at the end
“Looking back at Intel’s history, they have not made major mistakes.” This is what a senior expert on domestic CPUs said to Leifeng.com before.
Intel’s success over a long period of time is based on advanced manufacturing processes. However, Intel’s lagging behind in this field in the past few years has become the key to its recent fierce competition. Of course, Intel is also facing new challenges from customers’ differentiated demands for computing power in the digital age.
This is why Pat Kissinger not only announced his plan to return to process leadership and emphasized software first, but also restored the logic behind Intel On (previously called IDF), a summit held for developers.
Technical background, Pat Kissinger, who has worked for Intel for many years, when will Intel return the true king?