Monday, March 2, 2009

Intel to outsource their processor fabrication ???

Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will collaborate on Atom chip production, according to reports. In the report, it says TSMC and Intel will collaborate on the manufacture of silicon related to the Atom chip, currently the most widely used processor in Netbooks.

Outsourcing chip production would be an unusual move for Intel, which prides itself on doing chip manufacturing in-house. This would not be unprecedented, however, as Intel has consigned production of select silicon to outside manufacturers in the past. TSMC is the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world.

The upcoming Atom processor code-named Moorestown--due late this year or early next year--will be a System-On-a-Chip (SOC) that combines the processor, graphics, memory controller, and video encode/decode into a single chip package. An accompanying chip will provide functions such as wireless, storage, and I/O (Input/Output).

The challenge for Intel will be matching the energy frugality of silicon from longtime cell phone silicon suppliers like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Toshiba recently disclosed that it's using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip in a future phone and Qualcomm supplied the main processor in the first phone using Google's Android OS.

Intel and TSMC will hold an event in Santa Clara, Calif. Monday to announce the collaboration. The event will be hosted by Intel executives Anand Chandrashekar and Sean Maloney and TSMC CEO Rick Tsai and marking vice president Jason Chen.


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