Over the weekend, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger boasted about the significant advancements made by Intel Foundry Services with its Intel 18A node in comparison to TSMC’s 2nm node. Gelsinger discussed the company’s most advanced manufacturing process, the Intel 18A, with Barrons following their major AI Everywhere event. The developments have been so impressive that they could possibly become the best lithography in the market.
Intel 18A has the potential to surpass TSMC’s 2nm node
During the event, Gelsinger claimed that their Intel 18A lithography has the potential to outperform TSMC’s 2nm N2 node, especially with the implementation of an advanced power supply technique called PowerVia. Considering the release timelines for Intel and TSMC’s nodes, Intel could potentially lead the foundry business with this manufacturing process.
Gelsinger stated, “We announced two big innovations with the 18A: a new transistor and backside power supply… It’s not clear that one is radically better than the other. We’ll see who comes out on top.” However, when referring to the power supply, Gelsinger claimed that Intel is “years ahead of the competition.”
The Intel 18A node will employ new transistors known as RibbonFet and use the PowerVia backside power supply to deliver notable performance improvements. The node aims to achieve a 10% performance improvement per watt compared to the Intel 20A. Rumors have even suggested that Intel’s chip manufacturing technology may rival TSMC’s 2nm node, with ARM potentially being the first customer to use it.
Intel has also announced new technologies such as 3D-designed CMOS transistors and using glass for next-gen packaging, allowing them to offer significant performance and energy efficiency advancements in their future manufacturing processes.
The Intel 18A lithography is expected to come to life during the second half of 2024, while TSMC’s 2nm technology is not projected to arrive until sometime in 2026. This technological advantage could place Intel Foundry Services in the spotlight for major companies looking to create their own chips and compete against solutions from TSMC and Samsung Foundry.