Intel seizes their opportunity

Intel has reportedly agreed to produce ARM chips for Altera:

At the ARM developers’ conference today, Intel partner Altera announced that the world’s largest semiconductor company will fabricate its ARM’s 64-bit chips starting next year. An announcement that sent shockwaves throughout the technology industry as Intel is desperately trying to break ARM’s supremacy in the mobile market…

But this is just the beginning of a much larger endeavor for the chip giant as Intel is even willing to compete with semiconductor foundry leader TSMC for the business of its fiercest rivals, like Nvidia NVDA or Qualcomm QCOM.

“Intel will build Apple’s A7, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium and feed their direct competitor, except for Apple. But that would actually make business sense for everyone,” adds Brookwood.

I’m sure Intel is just dipping their toes in the water, and using an older process that was likely to be retired otherwise. Still, the significance of this move can’t be overstated, despite its obviousness.

Update: I shouldn’t have been so flip. EETimes reports this is on Intel’s 14nm process, befitting Altera’s high-performance, high-margin niche FPGA business. Along those lines, it’s very possible this is a one-off and not a harbinger of change. I still like – and stand by – the below article though.

In fact, I’m rather chuffed at the news, just so I can link one of my favorite articles written before most of you, dear readers, were following this blog. It’s called The Intel Opportunity, and I wrote it upon the promotion of Brian Krzanich to CEO:

Today Intel has once again promoted a COO to CEO. And today, once again, Intel is increasingly under duress. And, once again, the only way out may require a remaking of their identity.

It is into a climate of doom and gloom that Krzanich is taking over as CEO. And, in what will be a highly emotional yet increasingly obvious decision, he ought to commit Intel to the chip manufacturing business, i.e. manufacturing chips according to other companies’ designs.

It’s super relevant to today’s news, so read the whole thing.