Intel becomes a 22nm foundry -- yes, for other people.
Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2012 - 08:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, foundry
It is news like this which leads to Apocalypse theories. Intel has announced that they will become a foundry for customers looking to manufacture chips using Intel’s 22nm process with trigate transistors. Current competitors in this industry include TSMC, UMC, IBM, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries each with varying degrees of commitment.
Well this just happened…
Only two customers of Intel’s manufacturing process have since gone public with their foundry choice. Achronix Semiconductor manufactures field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for users to install in their products to give them relatively basic logic functions compared to a full CPU. Tabula also designs FPGAs, but has specifically announced that they will be using Intel’s 22nm process with 3D trigate transistors.
It is not clear at this point how deeply Intel will jump into the business of developing chips for other companies. Both of the current customers of Intel’s manufacturing process do not really compete with Intel’s own products at all.
Now if we ever, for instance, see NVIDIA announce partnership with Intel foundries for a GPU launch… then John Cusack might have a concern on his hands.