Intel expands contract manufacturing

The company will make chips for third parties, CEO Brian Krzanich tells investors

Intel is offering contract manufacturing to any company that wants advanced silicon.

Intel had previously offered contract manufacturing to only select customers such as Altera, Achronix and Netronome, which design high-margin FPGA (field-programmable gate arrays) products, but is expanding that part of its business, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, said Thursday, during an Intel investor meeting in Santa Clara, California, which was webcast.

"If we can use our silicon to provide the best computing, we'll do it," Krzanich said. "You will see us focusing on a much broader set of customers."

Intel's manufacturing facilities are considered the most advanced in the industry, so the company believes that gives it an advantage as it makes its way into the market for smartphone and tablet chips. Intel competes with ARM in the mobile device, PC, server and embedded markets.

Intel's competitors also include contract manufacturers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and GlobalFoundries, which make ARM-based chips for clients such as Nvidia and Qualcomm. TSMC and GlobalFoundries will start making chips with 3D transistors using the 16-nanometer and 14-nm processes, respectively, starting next year. But Intel hopes to take business away from those companies and will also make 64-bit ARM-based chips on its 14-nm process for Altera, which is one of the top FPGA companies.

Intel is currently struggling with its 14-nm process, delaying by three months the manufacture of chips. Its PC chips code-named Broadwell, which are based on the 14-nm process, are now expected to appear in the second half of next year.

Intel has had idle capacity in its factories with the decline in demand for its PC chips, which has hurt the company's profits.

Krzanich pitched its manufacturing facilities to third parties as keeping up with Moore's Law, which could bring power and performance benefits. There have been many interpretations of Moore's Law in the past, with one being that the number of transistors that can be placed on silicon doubles every two years. Intel interprets Moore's Law to the economics related to cost-per-transistor, which drops with advances in manufacturing.

There will be substantial performance improvements as well as cost and power reduction with the 14-nm and 10-nm processes, said William Holt, executive vice president and general manager of the Technology and Manufacturing Group, during a speech at the investor meeting.

"All of the segments need these improvements in power," Holt said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Tags business issuesManufacturingComponentsintelindustry verticalsprocessors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?