Intel seeks to replicate M1 manufacturing process for ‘Meteor Lake’ processors

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Intel plans to manufacture its 14th generation “Meteor Lake” processors using at least part of TSMC’s 5nm process to mirror Apple’s M1 series of chips, DigiTimes reports.

Announced last year, Intel’s Meteor Lake chips will be its first multi-chip design to integrate an application processor, graphics processing unit, and connector chips into a single advanced Intel Foveros package.

Intel initially said the Meteor Lake processors would be made with its own 7nm process, which it calls “Intel 4”. On its latest earnings call, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said Meteor Lake will be the first Intel product made using Intel 4 and prototypes have already successfully booted Windows, Chrome and Linux. .

Now sources speaking to DigiTimes claim that Intel plans to place orders for all chip blocks used in Meteor Lake processors from TSMC, Apple’s sole chip supplier. Rather than relying solely on Intel’s in-house 7nm process, Meteor Lake chip blocks would be outsourced to be manufactured with TSMC’s 5nm process, much like Apple’s ‌M1‌ chips for Mac. This move would help avoid delays in CPU 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 move could help Meteor Lake chips better compete with custom silicon competitive with Apple. TSMC has also reportedly received chip orders for the iPhone 14 lineup using its 5nm process.

The sources added that potential orders for Meteor Lake processors would be large enough to encourage TSMC to increase manufacturing capacity for its 5nm chips by the end of the year. Intel Meteor Lake processors are expected to launch in 2023.

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