Wednesday, August 17th 2016

Intel to Contract-manufacture ARM Processors at its Fabs

Intel is opening up its silicon manufacturing facilities to fabless chip-makers, beginning with the manufacture of ARM SoCs. The company entered a licensing deal with ARM that allows ARM SoC designers such as Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung, to manufacture their SoCs at Intel fabs. Intel is among the first fabs with a working 14 nm node, and is on-track for sub-10 nm node development.

Intel had a crack at the market segments typically addressed by ARM SoCs, with its own x86 chips, which failed to see the kind of volumes ARM chipmakers were pushing. The company has now changed tactics to open its fabs up to those ARM SoC makers, letting them manufacture their designs on proven silicon-fabrication tech, in geographically important locations. Intel has its cutting-edge fabs located in Costa Rica and Malaysia.
Source: Bloomberg
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14 Comments on Intel to Contract-manufacture ARM Processors at its Fabs

#1
Steevo
Intel has hit the wall on how much silicon it can make and sell out of its own fabs, and is now selling excess to alternate vendors. Great for the vendors as long as its not super expensive, perhaps it will drive down prices at other fabs or push processes to come online sooner.
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#2
yogurt_21
Also allows for Intel to take a piece of the arm pie instead of being direct competitors. Being they lost out on the mobile processing game its much easier than trying and failing to force their way back into it (as they have been doing).
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#3
Chaitanya
Wondering how much business they have lost to TSMC and Samsung before deciding to open up Fab for clients. This is a complete role reversal from their previous stance when Apple allegedly approached for mobile CPUs.
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#4
$ReaPeR$
i wonder why intel would make such a move..
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#5
theoneandonlymrk
$ReaPeR$, post: 3507746, member: 56172"
i wonder why intel would make such a move..
Lots of fabs with idleing resources could be one reason that and low small core sales.
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#6
R-T-B
$ReaPeR$, post: 3507746, member: 56172"
i wonder why intel would make such a move..
Money might have something to do with it... I'm sure this "opening" isn't free.
Posted on Reply
#7
ArdWar
R-T-B, post: 3507839, member: 41983"
Money might have something to do with it... I'm sure this "opening" isn't free.
News at 11.

Really, it would be dumb if money isn't the main driving factor. Eventually it's all about money. O.o
Posted on Reply
#8
$ReaPeR$
theoneandonlymrk, post: 3507773, member: 82332"
Lots of fabs with idleing resources could be one reason that and low small core sales.
i didn't expect intel with 80%+ market share to have idling fabs or resources. my guess is that they are trying to dominate the ARM market. they failed to do it with architecture so now they are trying to do it with the fabs. i think they are playing for the long game.

R-T-B, post: 3507839, member: 41983"
Money might have something to do with it... I'm sure this "opening" isn't free.
sure.. greed is the motivator of our societies anyway :D i just wouldn't like to see the same situation as in the x86 market happening with the ARM market..
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#9
theoneandonlymrk
$ReaPeR$, post: 3507931, member: 56172"
i didn't expect intel with 80%+ market share to have idling fabs or resources. my guess is that they are trying to dominate the ARM market. they failed to do it with architecture so now they are trying to do it with the fabs. i think they are playing for the long game.


sure.. greed is the motivator of our societies anyway :D i just wouldn't like to see the same situation as in the x86 market happening with the ARM market..
Intel has plenty of rescource and a declining phone,pc and server market ,why would they still be churning out chips like you suggest.
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#10
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
$ReaPeR$, post: 3507931, member: 56172"
i didn't expect intel with 80%+ market share to have idling fabs or resources. my guess is that they are trying to dominate the ARM market. they failed to do it with architecture so now they are trying to do it with the fabs. i think they are playing for the long game.


sure.. greed is the motivator of our societies anyway :D i just wouldn't like to see the same situation as in the x86 market happening with the ARM market..
They just make them, they won't dominate ARM. Nvidia dominates the GPU market, not TSMC.
Posted on Reply
#11
$ReaPeR$
theoneandonlymrk, post: 3507972, member: 82332"
Intel has plenty of rescource and a declining phone,pc and server market ,why would they still be churning out chips like you suggest.
its a segment where Intel hasn't got the upper hand and they want in. that's how i see it.
Frick, post: 3507974, member: 23907"
They just make them, they won't dominate ARM. Nvidia dominates the GPU market, not TSMC.
how is Nvidia relevant to this?! also making something means that you have control over its production.
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#12
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
$ReaPeR$, post: 3508332, member: 56172"
how is Nvidia relevant to this?! also making something means that you have control over its production.
Intel won't dominate ARM by manufacturing the chips, just like how TSMC isn't dominating the dGPU market by manufacturing chips for Nvidia.
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#13
$ReaPeR$
Frick, post: 3508426, member: 23907"
Intel won't dominate ARM by manufacturing the chips, just like how TSMC isn't dominating the dGPU market by manufacturing chips for Nvidia.
well, TSMC isn't Intel, is it? and i didn't say they will, i said they want to, and they are trying any way they can.
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#14
1c3d0g
Why are you scared of Intel "dominating" the ARM market? I don't get what you're trying to say or where you're going with this.

Intel opening up its fabs is GOOD for us customers, as we'll have access to faster, cooler chips for all kinds of gadgets. What's not to like, unless you have some ax to grind?!? :shadedshu:
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