Intel is making big decisions for its future by taking on a third-party capacity as chipset manufacturers.
The new Intel Foundry Services is opening its doors of making other companies' chips for them. Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger announced this new company strategy for 2021 in a press release.
Intel is one of the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturers. It is also the famous developer of x86 microprocessors found in most personal computers. The company has largely focused on making its own brand of chips, and for many years, became a forefront of personal technology. However, Intel is suffering in production in these recent times. They failed in production for the mobile market and faced several delays in manufacturing PC processors.
Intel Foundry Services Business Unit
On Tuesday, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger proposed a major turnaround for the decades-old Silicon Valley powerhouse. They will create a new and independent business unit called Intel Foundry Services.
With that said, Intel will now be providing services in the technology supply chains of the United States.
Intel will be moving to new manufacturing processes using electronic components measuring 10 nanometers, approximately billionths of a meter. By 2023, the company plans to move to 7nm processes, double the number of circuitry elements that usually fit in that given area.
"Intel is back. The old Intel is now the new Intel as we look to the future. Our confidence in 7nm's health and competitiveness is accelerating," Gelsinger said.
Intel Foundry's Challenges and Consequences
Unfortunately, not everyone believes this is a good move for the company. Linley Gwennap, an analyst at Linley Group, expressed concerns that Intel does not have the standard tools and libraries that chip foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung have. Therefore, their products would questionably be weak and inferior to the other chip foundries.
However, Gelsinger asserted that the new foundry's effort and profit responsibilities had dedicated capacity for their customers. Intel is investing $20 billion in their two new Arizona chip factories that they call "fabs." Intel will let its customers build their new chips using the x86 processor cores and Arm designs in their resources. Intel will also let their customers build chips using their new RISC-V computing platforms.
Intel's Contributions to the Global Chipset
Intel is making its move to anchor technology supply chains in the United States and reduce reliance on Asian manufacturers such as TSMC and Samsung. This strategy is incredibly timely due to a major chip shortage at the global level. Chip shortages have been causing so many problems that TSMC plans to invest $28 billion in new chipmaking capacities this year to meet up with the market demand.
Intel could increase the near-term supply of chips with its business strategy. Cnet's article concluded that even as Intel plans to support other foundries, including TSMC, Samsung in Korea, and UMC in Taiwan, in their production against global chip shortage, the company's primary strategy is to build their own foundry services.