Despite predictions that the chip manufacturing industry has already reached its limits, Intel is still pushing the boundaries of Moore's Law even further. It was recently reported that Intel is working on its next-generation 7nm chip manufacturing technology.
Sources that are familiar with Intel's plan claim that the company is planning to upgrade its Fab 42 manufacturing plant with necessary equipment that could start the development and manufacture of 7nm chips. This plan is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019 with production shipments expected to roll out a year later.
In a bid to upgrade its production, Intel announced that it is investing $7 billion in its Fab 42 plant located in Chandler, Arizona. With this investment, the manufacturing plant will be turned into the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. The expansion is expected to take three to four years to be completed, according to PC Gamer.
Reports also revealed that Intel's 7nm technology will be based on the current FinFET transistor structure which the company first commercialized back in 2012. It is also widely speculated that the first 7nm chips will be used for high-performance data centers and servers.
Intel's plan to target data centers and servers is a big shift from its current strategy, according to Madison. Intel is known for targeting the personal computer market, especially the gaming segment. Some tech analysts said that Intel's shift to the data center market is evidence of the growing technological leap towards the Internet of Things industry which poses a lucrative future.
With these plans already laid bare, it appears that Intel will be facing fierce competition from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. TSMC recently announced that the company will start the development of 5nm processors as early as the first half of 2019. The company added that mass production of 5nm chips will probably start by early 2020.