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Intel to Fabricate Chips for Taiwanese Firm MediaTek

Intel didn’t give financial details but said the first products would be manufactured in the next 18- to 24-month period


The US Senate voted 64-32 on Tuesday to advance legislation to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
Intel is one of the few US chipmakers. Supporters have said the legislation is crucial to address long-term stability and growth of the US chip industry, while critics have decried the subsidies as "corporate welfare" for rich tech companies. File photo: Reuters.

 

Intel Corp has said it will manufacture chips for Taiwan’s MediaTek in one of the most significant deals the US chipmaker has announced since it launched its so-called foundry business last year.

A foundry business builds chips that other companies design and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is the top player in that space.

Intel has mainly built chips it designed itself.

“That’s a pretty big deal for us to engage a customer from Taiwan and them betting on us to grow and try this. And so this is a major anchor customer win,” Randhir Thakur, president of Intel Foundry Services, said.

 

Intel On The Right Path

TechInsights’ chip economist Dan Hutcheson said there were doubts in the industry if Intel could pull off the foundry business, but the deal with MediaTek shows it’s on the right path and its investments, including in recruiting the right executives, are paying off.

“When you go into a foundry, you’re putting at risk about two years of work,” said Hutcheson about the risk for chip design firms like MediaTek. “If something happens and the foundry can’t pull it off, you’ve lost that design window in that market window.”

While Intel didn’t give any financial details of the deal or say how many chips it would be producing for MediaTek, it said the first products would be manufactured in the next 18- to 24-month period and will be in a more mature technology process called Intel 16, with the chips used for smart devices.

“MediaTek has always adopted a multi-sourcing strategy,” MediaTek said in a statement. “In addition to maintaining close partnership with TSMC in advanced process nodes, this collaboration will enhance MediaTek’s supply for mature process nodes.”

Intel previously announced that its foundry business has signed deals with Qualcomm and Amazon.com.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

 

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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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