Yesterday it was reported that Intel had effectively abandoned its 10nm process. SemiAccurate founder and computer industry analyst Charlie Demerjian published a piece that was headlined 'Intel kills off the 10nm process', and went on to say that the process "would never be financially viable". SemiAccurate's industry 'moles' were the source of the story. However, Intel has released a statement via Twitter denying any such move.
Throughout the SemiAccurate report yesterday it was made clear that Intel's 10nm process was a fruitless money pit and that abandoning its further development would be short term pain but deliver long term gain, an "adult decision". There was little uncertainty in the report which used terms such as 'kills off', 'pulls the plug', 'deed has been done', and 'knifing of 10nm' to deliver its message.
Intel responded yesterday evening via Twitter to say that not only are the reports untrue but that it is making good progress with its 10nm plans:
Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.— Intel News (@intelnews) October 22, 2018
I've looked at other reports and analyst news over recent hours and it does seem like SemiAccurate's report was rather toothless. Firstly, investors weren't unnerved by the report, as shares rose by greater than two per cent during the day. Secondly, Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah raised his rating on Intel to a buy from neutral on Monday, explaining that "We believe 10nm volumes are improving and our EPS forecasts of $4.16 in 2018E and $4.25 in 2019E are conservative".
Demerjian might be right, but so could Shah, so it looks like a case of pick your analyst. Intel's 10nm progress has definitely had a chequered history in terms of progress, and the communication of what is happening in the background has been poor. Whatever the case, the truth will become apparent in time but one must remember that Intel has a legal obligation to release timely and accurate statements to its investors on any news that might affect the company share price.