Lunar Lake


[News] Intel’s Next Gen CPU to Produce at TSMC with 3nm in First Half of Next Year

Intel’s upcoming Lunar Lake platform has entrusted TSMC with the 3nm process of its CPU. This marks TSMC’s debut as the exclusive producer for Intel’s mainstream laptop CPU, including the previously negotiated Lunar Lake GPU and high-speed I/O (PCH) chip collaborations. This move positions TSMC to handle all major chip orders for Intel’s crucial platform next year, reported by UDN News.

Regarding this news, TSMC refrained from commenting on single customer business or market speculations on November 21st. Intel has not issued any statements either.

Recent leaks of Lunar Lake platform internal design details from Intel have generated discussions on various foreign tech websites and among tech experts on X (formerly known as Twitter). According to the leaked information, TSMC will be responsible for producing three key chips for Intel’s Lunar Lake—CPU, GPU, and NPU—all manufactured using the 3nm process. Orders for high-speed I/O chips are expected to leverage TSMC’s 5nm production, with mass production set to kick off in the first half of next year, aligning with the anticipated resurgence of the PC market in the latter half of the year.

While TSMC previously manufactured CPUs for Intel’s Atom platform over a decade ago, it’s crucial to note that the Atom platform was categorized as a series of ultra-low-voltage processors, not Intel’s mainstream laptop platform. In recent years, Intel has gradually outsourced internal chips, beyond CPUs, for mainstream platforms to TSMC, including the GPU and high-speed I/O chips in the earlier Meteor Lake platform—all manufactured using TSMC’s 5nm node.

Breaking from its tradition of in-house production of mainstream platform CPUs, Intel’s decision to outsource to TSMC hints at potential future collaborations. This move opens doors to new opportunities for TSMC to handle the production of Intel’s mainstream laptop platforms.

It’s worth noting that the Intel Lunar Lake platform is scheduled for mass production at TSMC in the first half of next year, with a launch planned for the latter half of the year, targeting mainstream laptop platforms. Unlike the previous two generations of Intel laptop platforms, Lunar Lake integrates CPU, GPU, and NPU into a system-on-chip (SoC). This SoC is then combined with a high-speed I/O chip, utilizing Intel’s Foveros advanced packaging. Finally, the DRAM LPDDR5x is integrated with the two advanced packaged chips on the same IC substrate.

(Image: TSMC)

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