In addition to Qualcomm, Amazon will be another big customer for Intel’s foundry business, but even though the manufacturer has maintained the technology leadership for making the fastest and smallest chips for decades, they have now lost that advantage to TSMC. and Samsung whose manufacturing services have paradoxically helped rivals AMD and NVIDIA produce chips that have outperformed Intel’s. Obviously Intel wants the situation to change and it already has plans to do so, setting a 2025 limit to regain its leadership … will they succeed?
Intel’s plans to overtake Samsung and TSMC
During last night’s presentation, Intel explicitly stated that they hope to regain their leadership in the semiconductor industry by 2025, describing this five sets of technologies chip manufacturing that they will implement over the next four years and that they hope will help them carry it out.
Starting in 2025, Intel will use a new generation of ASML machines that will finally use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, which projects chip designs onto silicon in a similar way to how a printer puts a photograph on paper. Intel also said it has changed its naming scheme for chip manufacturing technology, using names like Intel 7 that align with the way TSMC and Samsung market their manufacturing technologies.
In the world of chips, where smaller is almost always better, Intel previously used names that alluded to the size of functions in nanometers, but over time the names used by chip manufacturers became arbitrary terms, giving the wrong impression that Intel was less competitive. For this reason, the silicon giant has decided to change what they call their manufacturing processes, as we explained this morning.
Qualcomm and Amazon, Intel’s First Large Customers
Intel’s first major customers will be Qualcomm and Amazon. Qualcomm, which dominates mobile terminal chips, will use what Intel calls the 20A manufacturing process that will use a new transistor technology to help specifically reduce the amount of power the chip consumes, meaning the primary goal is to increase the efficiency to preserve battery life.
Amazon, which increasingly makes its own data center chips for its web services, does not yet use Intel’s chip-making technology but will use the brand’s packaging technology, as well as the chip and chiplet assembly process. 3D. Intel excels at this packaging technology, according to analysts.
“There have been many, many hours of deep and technical engagement with these first two clients and many others.” said Gelsinger, CEO of Intel.
The company has not given details on how much revenue or manufacturing volume these two large customers will generate, although Gelsinger said during the event that the deal with Qualcomm involved a “significant mobile platform” and that they will engage with them in a “deep and strategic way.” ». Qualcomm has a long history of using multiple semiconductor partners, sometimes even for the same chip.
The biggest question Intel faces is whether it can deliver on its technology promises after years of delays under former CEO Brian Krzanich. In recent weeks, Intel announced the delay of a new data center chip, Sapphire Rapids, so everything can be.
The point is, this time Intel has unveiled no less than five generations of technology for the next four years, addressing smaller sets of problems but also saying that it might not use EUV in its 18A process if it’s not ready. In any case, it seems that Intel is finally catching up and it’s pretty clear that their goal is to battle (and win) TSMC and Samsung.