The end of an era that some of Intel’s chips may be outsourced to TSMC and other manufacturers

Intel CEO Bob Swan mentioned in its quarterly earnings report in late July that shipments of its 7-nanometer chip products are expected to be delayed until late 2022 or early 2023. To this end, Swan said that Intel is considering outsourcing the chip production business as a matter of urgency. “We will use the productivity of other companies, and we don’t have to do all the procedures in person.” Some analysts believe that Intel is likely to outsource this part of the business to TSMC. It is reported that TSMC’s 5-nanometer process chips are already in mass production, and it has long been an OEM for American chip companies, and has a good foundation for cooperation.

However, as of now, Intel still has not announced its confirmed partners.

In mid-August, Intel held its 2020 “Architecture Day” event in Taiwan. Xie Chengru, general manager of its Hsinchu office, mentioned in an interview with the media that if outsourcing and Intel can have good complementarity, Intel can use external solutions. To increase the competitive advantage of products, after integrating with Intel’s own software, architecture and security, to provide customers with the most competitive products.

However, Xie Chengru did not disclose which chip product production will be outsourced. He only emphasized that the British product line is very extensive and has strong production technology. Many products are still manufactured by Intel factories. Intel’s goal is to find the best product competitiveness. The solution requires a comprehensive assessment of issues such as cost, yield, and production flexibility.

Xie Chengru did not respond positively to whether he would choose TSMC as a foundry partner, but only said that there are many foundry manufacturers, and Intel will consider the advantages of different manufacturers.

For most of the past few decades, Intel has been the world’s largest chip maker, according to Bloomberg. Years ago, with the exception of Intel, most chip companies in the United States either closed or sold their domestic factories, and instead entrusted Asian companies to manufacture chip products for them.

Intel is a special case. It insists on retaining the design and production capabilities of chips. It believes that engaging in design and production at the same time will help improve operations and create better semiconductor products. But today, this strategy seems to be becoming “ridiculous.” hole”.

Over the years, Intel has spent tens of billions of dollars to upgrade its factories. However, the rise of the mobile communication industry represented by smartphones and the boom of the mobile Internet industry during the same period have profoundly changed the pattern of chip manufacturing. Intel has also been involved in mobile chips, but has not made up its mind to invest its most advanced production technology in it, sticking to the original personal computer and server chip business. To this end, Intel missed the application tide of the corresponding chips in the mobile Internet era, and the foundry represented by TSMC has developed by leaps and bounds.

In 2020, Intel ushered in a number of major setbacks, including AMD’s use of TSMC’s advanced process chips to catch Intel by surprise, and Apple also announced that it will develop its own ARM-based PC chips. Recently, Intel’s market value has also been Nvidia surpassed Yue, and lost the conclusion of its largest chip maker in the United States.

For Intel’s search for chip production foundry, Bloomberg commented that this heralds “the end of an era – an era in which Intel and the United States dominate the world’s semiconductor industry”…

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