Intel Looking to Mirror M1's Manufacturing Process for 'Meteor Lake' CPUs
Announced last year, Intel's Meteor Lake chips will be its first multi-chiplet design to integrate an application processor, graphics processing unit, and connection chips into a single Intel Foveros advanced package.
Intel initially said that the Meteor Lake CPUs would be manufactured with its own 7nm process, which it calls "Intel 4." At its most recent earnings call, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that Meteor Lake would be the first Intel product made using Intel 4 and that prototypes had already successfully booted Windows, Chrome, and Linux.
Now, sources speaking to DigiTimes claim that Intel is considering placing orders for all of the chip blocks used in the Meteor Lake CPUs with TSMC, Apple's sole chip supplier. Rather than singularly rely on Intel's in-house 7nm process, the Meteor Lake chip blocks would be contracted out to be manufactured with TSMC's 5nm process, just like Apple's M1 chips for the Mac. The move would reportedly help avoid delays to the CPU's production and launch schedules.
The A14 Bionic, A15 Bionic, M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, are manufactured using TSMC's 5nm process, and Intel's decision could help Meteor Lake chips to better rival Apple's competitive custom silicon. TSMC is also said to have now received chips orders for the iPhone 14 lineup using its 5nm process.
The sources added that potential orders for Meteor Lake CPUs would be large enough to encourage TSMC to scale up its fabrication capacity for its 5nm chips by the end of the year. Intel's Meteor Lake CPUs are set to launch in 2023.