Intel today has announced that the company will be holding an event on March 23rd to discuss the future of engineering at the company. Dubbed “Intel Unleashed: Engineering the Future”, the hour-long webcast will be hosted by recently hired CEO (and Intel returnee) Pat Gelsinger.

Join Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger for a business update and webcast address on the new era of innovation and technology leadership at Intel.

While Intel’s official description is short and at a high level, given the subject matter and the fact that the presentation is scheduled for after the stock markets close, we’re expecting that this will be Intel’s much-awaited announcement on the future of the company’s manufacturing plans. For the last several months the company has been juggling the question of when and where to use third-party foundries versus investing in their own manufacturing technologies. Intel’s 7nm problems have become a black eye for the company, and the prolific processor producer has been under pressure from some investors to cut back on expensive R&D and just use pure-play foundries like TSMC.

Prior to Intel hiring Gelsinger to be their new CEO in mid-January, the company had been preparing to detail its future foundry plans in its January 21st earnings call. However after bringing Gelsinger on board, that announcement was put on hold to give Gelsinger a time to get up to speed, and possibly make his own mark if he decided to take the company in a different direction than then-CEO BoB Swan was preparing to go.

If this does turn out to be a detailed disclosure of Intel’s foundry plans, then it’s not an exaggeration to say that this webcast will be one of the most critical Intel presentations in years. Gelsinger and the rest of Intel’s upper management have some very difficult choices to make about manufacturing, and no matter what direction they opt to take on Tuesday, it’s going to have significant ramifications for not only Intel, but the rest of the silicon foundry industry as a whole. So tech enthusiasts and investors alike are going to be paying close attention to this announcement.

Source: Intel Newsroom

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  • JayNor - Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - link

    Intel only dropped out of 5G smartmodem market. They are in 5G market in a big way with P5900, eASIC, FPGAs, XeonD.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    "Focus on the bread and butter - CPU x86 innovation"

    Agreed. I believe part of Intel's failure comes from trying too many things (often leading to dead ends). AMD is winning, partly, because of focusing relentlessly on just one or two things. A single core, which they're pouring all their effort into, and then multiplying it almost like bricklayers. Doing one thing, and doing it well, will always beat being a jack of all trades.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Having said that, Intel Haifa has always been focused on microarchitecture.
  • jjjag - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong. Intel's failure (not AMDs success) is a combination of hubris and complacency. Hubris - look at the industry papers back ca. 2015. They pushed the density of 10nm TOO FAR, and introduced too many new manuf. features. "Superfin" is really them backing off the density so they can actually produce it now. TSMC has actual (fabless-semi) customers that they pay attention to, so they developed a 7nm/5nm/3nm process that everybody could use and that they could get into production early. Yes they are not as dense as Intel's offerings on the same "node", but it doesn't matter if Intel's volumes are zero.

    Complacency in that they have not improved the micro-architecture of their big core line since Sandy Bridge. Here again they were relying on manuf. to improve performance so they never did anything about the architecture. Also they continually underestimate the competitive landscape and the data that clearly shows ARM cores surpassing X86 performance at low power (where it matters) was dismissed.

    AMD will eventually fail for the same reason, unless they invest more in ARM. ARM is the real future. WIndows is finally getting ported to ARM for real now. The Mac is just the first pebble to roll. Look for boulders to start rolling by 2024/5 with ARM PCs from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, etc.
  • Otritus - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Actually Intel has improved the micro-architecture of their big cores. Haswell added avx-2 and Skylake is about 25% faster per clock than Sandybridge. Sunny Cove added avx-512 and is about 45% faster per clock than Sandybridge.

    The problem isn't that architectural improvements from Sandybridge to Skylake were small (they were). The problem is that Intel failed in their real bread and butter (in-house advanced mass manufacturing of processors). Sunny Cove would have originally been mass produced in 2017 had Intel not failed with 10nm. Golden Cove would have been on 7nm in either 2019 or 2020 (and this 7nm would be equivalent to TSMC 5nm).
  • Matthias B V - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Intel has improved but couldn't use as they were all designed for 10nm which was not ready. But I agree there is progress currently and in future.

    AV2 to AVX512 however isn't -it is a waste outside servers and even there it is mixed. AMX will be a little better. They should have something like SVE (Scalable Vector Extension) in x86. What could help x86 extend its lifespan is getting rid of legacy and create a "lean"86. Maybe only 64-Bit and new scalable extentions that can emulate old ones if necessary.

    Overall people want open and flexible archs and whoever delivers will gain. Would also benefit customers as you could see what Intel and a lack of AMD competition did. Overall after losing Apple to ARM it will be harder for x86 as ARM already has momentum and Windows will follow. However this could change if Nvidia really is allowed to buy ARM and kill its independence. In the long run this might turn people to RISC-V.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    jjjag, I do believe complacency played a big part. This is what I wrote the other day, replying to a comment on the Rocket Lake article.

    "My guess would be: complacency, underestimating the enemy, putting eggs in too many dead-end baskets, and management that made a mess of excellent engineering talent."
  • Silver5urfer - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    I always wonder what does people have with ARM. For x86 I always see them are more open and easy to build rather than a gated bullshit.

    Android AOSP needs Qcomm CAF and other source to compile proper builds and Kernel HAL drivers if they are not made properly the OS cannot work properly. Same for every single ARM machine. OMAP was the only one which was very open on that front. Qcomm was the reason why SD805 was killed prematurely. Next Graviton2 that's only made for Amazon, AWS. It won't be shipped to anyone else on the market, so let's move from there and it's not going to succeed AMD. Graviton3 ? yeah but by that time EPYC from Zen4 will show up. Qcomm Centriq - Abandoned fully prematurely and saw no big contracts or customers, Altera they recently released the new chip, compared with EPYC no dice. And on top the Software code which is the fundamental basis must be rewritten and optimized. A big no for majority of the enterprises except M$ / Amazon since both are too greedy and want money so save cost on x86 and use ARM. Fujitsu's ARM64 is full custom and no option for outside. Nvidia Automotive processors are ARM maybe that's one place where it can scale, due to limited Power and performance requirements.

    Now consumer devices, Apple is first so lets look at M1, first ARM design based off A14. And cannot beat a Renoir based Zen 2 APU in SMT. ST Spec score and all those first party software makers are being paid by Apple big time, thus allowing for tighter integration. The Mac OS is also downgraded a lot to mimic Tablet bullshit and dumb users, this is not at all a point worth in this discussion but just to note, also Windows10 same ideology killing Win32 for UWP and exerting more control. Corporations want more power since Oil is no more, it's all Tech. And then you have 8cx based Windows machines, full custom Chips and same for x86 AMD SQ1 Surface processors, the reason I boiught these because read "full custom" they do not allow any sort of Bootloader aspects such as Linux and open source OS with proper user control, so any ARM shit is full custom You have maybe Raspberry PI systems which leverage huge DIY thing but it's not competing with commercial proper enterprise grade x86.

    So take your ARM bs somewhere else. AMD will innovate and Intel will be forced to innovate or perish. x86 puts power in people's hand even if Software is castrated (Windows10 to Linux) but ARM takes it all away for some custom BS. SPEC scores ? Muh Apple is world's best CPU ? Go to youtube and click any video showcasing real-world iPhone vs Android flagship comparisons that's all.
  • Matthias B V - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    I wouldn't boy a ARM notebook yet - for now!

    M1 has compeitive performance and amazing battery but it is highly specific and has onboard RAM so unfair to compare. However I expect Intel / AMD to use 3D stacked memory in future as it is enegry efficient and fast.

    Windows on ARM is still crap and QComm SQ1 is barely customized and old. However I expect them to bring customized APUs by 2023 on TSMC or Samsung 3nm. And by then Widndows is ARM ready. I wouldn't underestimate it. Especially since lots of consumers are happy with Office, Netflix, Instagram and Facebook. Battery life will be ridiculous! The only thing that can kill ARM right now is Nvidia takeover.

    Intel is doing a nice move with BigBigger (BigLittle) design but not sure if it is too less too late. Especially if they do not get their 7nm and 5nm running asap. They also should get rid of legacy to safe space and code.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    'Apple is first so lets look at M1, first ARM design based off A14. And cannot beat a Renoir based Zen 2 APU in SMT. ST Spec score and all those first party software makers are being paid by Apple big time, thus allowing for tighter integration. The Mac OS is also downgraded a lot to mimic Tablet bullshit and dumb users'

    Much less intelligent users than the people who made the OS that shuts off when you're in the middle of you work a vast success. Microsoft really drew a new line in the psychological sand when it came up with that behavior. 'How much abuse will customers not only put up with but choose to pay for? Let's see!' It's the tech equivalent of Milgram.

    Consumer stupidity (and, especially, passivity) is the norm. It's basically true of tech in general. Otherwise, all the vaunted smart users would have been demanding a true level of competition in all sorts of tech markets (search, GPUs, foundries, ISPs, desktop OS, etc.). Instead, these geniuses spend their time propping up whatever company is the most monopolistic of the quasi-monopolies around. They also blindly throw their money at massive expanding conglomerates when those conglomerates add some 'competition' to a particular market space by entering it — even though enriching them more reduces the competitiveness of tech overall.

    As for your dismissal of M1, it sounds like more fanboy and less objective appraisal. I will say, though, that I find it the height of hilarity that a company with as many billions as Apple has can't manage to make a text editor that doesn't: A) crash multiple times, causing your work to be lost and B) refuse to let you save your open documents after it loads them post-crash.

    Text editing is a brand-new thing in microcomputing, after all!

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