Intel may need to switch to TSMC for its Meteor Lake CPUs

Problems with its Intel 4 manufacturing process may push the company to manufacture its next-generation processors entirely via TSMC

Intel employees in clean room "bunny suits" work at Intel's D1X factory in Hillsboro, Oregon. The grand opening of D1X's "Mod3" in 2022 will provide Intel engineers with an additional 270,000 square feet of clean room space to develop next-generation silicon process technologies. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

With the release of its 13th Gen Core ‘Raptor Lake‘ CPUs just on the horizon, Intel is busy working on the final design and manufacturing processor for its 14th Gen Core ‘Meteor Lake’ processors. While the company previously announced that it would build these next-gen chips using its in-house Intel 4 process, a report from DigiTimes suggests team blue may instead make use of TSMC’s 5nm node instead.

Twitter user chiakokhua provides an overview of the DigiTimes article, which alleges that Intel may need to switch to TSMC for its Meteor Lake CPUs because their in-house production methods needs more ‘preparation time’”. This change would apparently lead to both the compute and graphics tile of 13th Gen Core chips to be manufactured on TSMC 5mn, despite the graphics tile previously being slated to use the company’s more advanced 3nm node.

Should this come to pass, it would mean that both AMD Ryzen Zen 4 and Intel Core Meteor Lake processors would be built on the same process. However, it’s impossible to tell which of the two will come out on top with the best gaming CPUs, given that both companies take very different approaches in their chip design.

We are somewhat surprised to hear such possibilities though, as Intel only recently announced it had powered-on its first Meteor Lake processor. As such, it’s best to treat this news like all other rumours: with a healthy pinch of salt.