Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Intel Opens the Factory Door. A Little.

In the early 2000s, Intel dabbled in becoming an ASIC vendor. They eventually cancelled that business venture. Now we read that Intel, in a very controlled way, will be Making Advanced Chips for Third Parties. Advanced, as in 22nm!

But this is much more focused than a merchant ASIC business. FPGA itself is more like a Standard Product, with high volumes and lots of benefit from using advanced processes. Altera and Xilinx are the most leading-edge customers for the established foundries. It'll be interesting to see Intel's motives beyond just "further monetizing the fab".