Intel has a brand new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, and he’s not losing any time to make some massive modifications. On the firm’s “Engineering the Future” announcement right now, Gelsinger introduced plans to outsource extra of Intel’s chip manufacturing to third-party foundries, a $20 billion funding into two new fabs in Arizona, and a brand new department of the corporate known as Intel Foundry Providers, which is able to see Intel’s foundries produce chips for different firms.
The brand new bulletins are a part of a brand new “IDM 2.0” technique for Intel’s design and manufacturing, which is made up of three elements. First, Intel’s personal in-house manufacturing, which is able to proceed to serve a key a part of Intel’s design and manufacturing of chips. Second is an expanded use of exterior foundries, together with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries, together with for manufacturing of “products at the core of Intel’s computing offerings” for each client and enterprise chips, beginning in 2023.
And third is the newly introduced Intel Foundry Providers, which is able to see Intel open its gates to deal with manufacturing of chips for different business clients, led by Dr. Randhir Thakur. Intel Foundry Providers is a “standalone foundry business unit,” and can develop x86, ARM, and RISC-V core chips for exterior shoppers utilizing Intel’s manufacturing know-how. And crucially for presidency work, Intel’s foundries can be situated within the US and Europe, a profit that opponents like TSMC don’t have. Companions embrace IBM, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Google, and extra.
The enlargement of Intel’s manufacturing efforts — which embrace a $20 billion funding into new fabs in Arizona that may increase Intel’s present Ocotillo campus — come at a vital time: the continued international semiconductor scarcity signifies that demand for chips is at an all-time excessive. Including Intel’s foundries (and its new Foundry Providers enterprise) might assist open up new avenues for firms to supply the chips which are important for all the things from new online game consoles to new pickup vehicles. Gelsinger additionally teased that extra foundries are within the works, promising extra bulletins of expansions within the US, Europe, and elsewhere on this planet later this yr.
Intel additionally introduced a brand new R&D collaboration with IBM “focused on creating next–generation logic and packaging technologies.” Particulars are slim in the intervening time, nonetheless.
Lastly, Intel introduced plans to deliver again a religious successor to its Intel Developer Discussion board convention with a brand new Intel Innovation occasion deliberate for October in San Francisco this fall as a part of a brand new Intel On collection of occasions.
Intel stands at a vital junction proper now: the corporate faces elevated competitors from firms like AMD and Apple’s ARM-based M1 collection of chips. On the similar time, it’s seen main shifts in management and delays of generations of its chips, all whereas being outpaced by opponents like TSMC when it comes to manufacturing methods. At present’s bulletins symbolize Gelsinger’s first massive strikes to attempt to proper the ship.