January 24, 2021

Intel CEO considers bringing in outside help to aid manufacturing

You don’t have to know much about PCs to understand that some chip makers, like Intel, own their own fabs. Others, like Nvidia, use third-party foundries. But Intel may try something a bit different: bring other manufacturer’s equipment under it...

You don’t have to know much about PCs to understand that some chip makers, like Intel, own their own fabs. Others, like Nvidia, use third-party foundries. But Intel may try something a bit different: bring other manufacturer’s equipment under its own roof, Intel chief executive Bob Swan told reporters before CES 2021.

Doing so could give Intel access to third-party manufacturing technologies without entirely outsourcing its designs—and that might give Intel a rope to pull itself out of its own manufacturing quagmire.

Manufacturing their own chips had been the rule for both AMD and Intel for decades. But Intel shook the chip world to its Core when it announced last July that it would engage with chip foundries in the future, as a consequence of its ongoing struggles to convert its fabs from 14nm to 10nm technology. (The SuperFIN transistor technology within its 11th-gen Tiger Lake processor, which executives called the largest intragenerational leap of performance in company history, partially offsets those deficits.)

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