US chipmaker Intel Corp. last week revealed a new technology for making transistors which is said to improve the performance of its next round of processors by as much as 20%.
Intel (INTC) disclosed the so-called SuperFin technology for its existing 10-nanometer (nm) chip process node, describing it as its largest single, intra-node enhancement in the company’s history, which promises to deliver performance improvement comparable to a full-node transition. The 10nm SuperFin technology combines Intel’s FinFET transistors with Super metal insulator metal capacitor, the company said.
“It is 20%, the largest intra-node jump ever in our history,” Raja Koduri, Intel’s chief architect, said of the performance gain in an interview with Reuters. “It’s actually same as what you would get with one full Moore’s Law node of performance.”
It will not be possible to test those claims in the real world until Intel’s new chips come out, but its “Tiger Lake” laptop chips slated for release this fall will use the chips.
Even with the new transistor technology, Koduri said Intel has re-worked its chip design process to be able to more easily use either its own chip factories or outside chip factories, whichever is needed to create the best chips.
“Whatever gets us to deliver those products on time, with leadership performance, we have the flexibility and are going to utilize that,” he said.
Shares in the California-based company, which is one of the few remaining in the world that both designs and manufactures its own chips, have recently come under pressure after the company said on July 23, that its 7-nm transistor would be delayed until 2022. Following the announcement, analysts have been rushing to raise price targets on rivals such as AMD (AMD) and Taiwan Semiconductor, as they believe the delay would help them gain market share.
Meanwhile, Intel shares have dropped 17% over the past month making up most of their 18% year-to-date decline. (See Intel stock analysis on TipRanks).
Following the news Rosenblatt analyst Hans Mosesmann reiterated his Sell rating on Intel with a $45 price target, saying that he doesn’t believe Intel’s roadmap changes the relative competitive dynamic vs. Intel’s key compute rivals: AMD, Broadcom, Marvell, Nvidia, and Xilinx.
“Overall, Intel’s strategy appears to be a more cowbell type of approach,” Mosesmann wrote in a note to investors.
The rest of the Street is sidelined on the stock. The Hold analyst consensus breaks down into 14 Holds and 9 Sells versus 8 Buys. The $57.38 average price target implies 17% upside potential in the next 12 months.