Intel is looking forward to outsourcing some of its CPUs to TSMC this year. TSMC has been the best in the fabrication process while also keeping the costs low. Intel will first outsource Core i3 CPUs to TSMC in the second half of this year using TSMC's 5nm process, also used by Apple in its latest iPhone and MacBook chips. Following year, Intel is expected to move its higher performance models to TSMC's upcoming 3nm node.
Intel has been struggling with its 10nm process and has failed to bring out 7nm-based chipsets via its own fabrication. AMD is ahead of Intel in fabrication as it has been using TSMC to manufacture its processors. However, Intel has said that its radical new Alder Lake hybrid CPUs will be built in-house on 10nm tech.
In July 2020, Intel confirmed that the timing for its introduction of 7nm products would be pushed back by six months. This means that Intel's first chips to come off its own 7nm fabrication wouldn't arrive until late 2022 or early 2023. "TSMC offers an advantage in terms of process node advancements. They are using their 7 nm process, and with that, they get a per-core frequency bump and lower power, which means they can scale to more cores per processor," said Intel in a leaked internal memo.