Slowly but surely, Intel is opening up its manufacturing capabilities to other firms. Yesterday, the company announced its latest fab agreement, which will see "future Panasonic system-on-chips" manufactured using Intel's upcoming 14-nm process.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 7, 2014 – Intel Corporation today announced that it has entered into a manufacturing agreement with Panasonic Corporation's System LSI Business Division. Intel's custom foundry business will manufacture future Panasonic system-on-chips (SoCs) using Intel's 14nm low-power manufacturing process.
Panasonic's next-generation SoCs will target audio visual-based equipment markets, and will enable higher levels of performance, power and viewing experience for consumers.
"Intel's 14nm Tri-Gate process technology is very important to develop the next- generation SoCs," said Yoshifumi Okamoto, director, Panasonic Corporation SLSI Business Division. "We will deliver highly improved performance and power advantages with next-generation SoCs by leveraging Intel's 14nm Tri-Gate process technology through our collaboration."
There's no mention of those "next-generation SoCs" using one of Intel's own architectures, so they may be ARM-based chips, instead. Some of Panasonic's existing SoCs for smart TVs and the like already use ARM cores.
In the announcement, Intel points out that its custom foundry business already has five other customers. Those include Altera, Achronix, Tabula, Netronome, and Microsemi. Clearly, the company isn't shy about pursuing additional ones. Intel President Renee James stated last year, "[I]n foundry, we're extending our capabilities and we're open for business."
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