The whole world is currently facing a global chip shortage that is now at a “crisis point”. This is the reason we have seen such low supply when it comes to PC hardware, and why many other manufacturers have been facing stock issues with their own electronic devices. But Intel is looking to shake things up a bit by creating a new contract foundry outside of their own internal manufacturing, and potentially help out the global chip crisis.
Intel has long since produced and manufactured their own chips thanks to an internal foundry, but what this move essentially means is that, whilst they’ll still have their own internal foundry, they can also start manufacturing chips for other companies as well.
With the global chip shortage proving dire for many companies already, this could even lead to the next AMD Ryzen processors manufactured by Intel, and even maybe Nvidia’s next graphics cards too.
Intel Foundry Services (IFS) will be a brand new arm of the Intel corporation. The new business unit will be led by semiconductor expert Dr. Randhir Thakhir, delivering what’s promised to be “leading-edge” process technology and packaging to customers. Intel has struggled with process shrinks for the last while so it’ll be interesting to see just how it plans to remain abreast of the competition.
The announcement comes from the new CEO at Intel, Pat Gelsinger, who revealed plans to turn Intel into a global leader for chip production. Although Intel creating their own contract foundry will certainly help the global chip crisis right now, the company also sees the silicon manufacturing industry worth $100 billion by 2025. Considering that 80% of all global silicon is manufactured in Asia, this could lead to massive market share for the Blue Team.
“We are setting a course for a new era of innovation and product leadership at Intel,” said Intel’s new CEO, Pat Gelsinger.
“Intel is the only company with the depth and breadth of software, silicon and platforms, packaging, and process with at-scale manufacturing customers can depend on for their next-generation innovations. IDM 2.0 is an elegant strategy that only Intel can deliver – and it’s a winning formula. We will use it to design the best products and manufacture them in the best way possible for every category we compete in.”
That will obviously mean more money for Intel, and according to them only 15% of global silicon is produced in the US, and the remaining 5% in Europe. Since a large portion of it is taken up by Asia, national security is also a major factor when it comes to technology. Having a larger manufacturer outside of Asia could allow governments to look into other options that they may not have looked into before.
The plan then is to expand their current Ocotillo campus in Arizona with 2 new fabs that will “support the increasing requirements of Intel’s current products and customers, as well as provide committed capacity for foundry customers,” with a total investment of $20 billion.
However, in the short term as Intel works on their expansions, the company will actually be reaching out to TSMC, Global Foundries, and Samsung in order to catch up on their own manufacturing needs, which Intel has struggled with in their 10nm process node and will hopefully help with their lead up to 7nm as well after the 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs launch later this year.
What do you think? Is it a good idea for Intel to expand their silicon manufacturing? What about producing chips for other companies? And do you think Intel will be able to make a comeback after their recent production woes? Let us know your thoughts!