Intel Nova Lake may use TSMC’s 2nm process

According to previous reports, Apple is set to become the first customer of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 2nm process, which is expected to produce 2nm chips for iPhones, Macs, iPads, and other devices with mass production planned for the second half of 2025. To better prepare for this, TSMC has even set up an additional VVIP channel specifically for Apple.

As reported by UDN, TSMC’s 2nm technology has garnered significant interest from numerous clients. Besides Apple, Intel has also secured a reserved supply position and might be included in TSMC’s 2nm client list. Rumors about Intel’s Nova Lake first surfaced in 2021, but there has been little news since then, leading some to speculate that Intel might have abandoned the project.

Intel Lunar Lake 2024

Rumors suggest that Intel’s Nova Lake microarchitecture will feature extensive design elements tailored for desktop platforms, with changes as significant as those seen in AMD’s first-generation Ryzen processors. The target release date is in the latter half of 2026. It could be equipped with up to 16 P-Cores, 32 P-Cores (codenamed “Arctic Wolf”), and 4 LP E-Cores. The high-end Core Ultra 9 is said to have a last-level cache of 180MB, while the Core Ultra 7 is at 144MB, to compete with AMD’s Zen 6 architecture and beyond.

Sources indicate that Nova Lake could represent one of the most substantial performance leaps in Intel‘s history, surpassing even the initial Core series, with CPU performance expected to exceed Lunar Lake by over 50%. TSMC’s 2nm process is speculated to be a major contributor to this performance boost. Earlier reports suggested that Intel would implement the Intel 14/16A process in Nova Lake. To maintain competitiveness in next-generation products, Intel may be compelled to opt for more established semiconductor manufacturers.