This does not mean that 14 nm is about to be retired; far from it. 10 nm desktop parts might be coming, but Intel’s stated focus “on maintaining an annual cadence of significant product improvements independent of our process roadmap” (emphasis added) is suggestive. We could very well see 14 nm, alongside 10 nm, until the 7 nm transition in 2023.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway from the earnings call was Intel’s apparent willingness to leverage external foundries. The delays have taken their toll, and Intel might have to take a step back from their sole-sourcing stance for processors that began with the i386 in 1985.
“We will continue to invest in our future process technology roadmap, but we will be pragmatic and objective in deploying the process technology that delivers the most predictability and performance for our customers, whether that be our process, external foundry process or a combination of both.”