Intel has announced the first customers for its new foundry business as it aims to rival TSMC and Samsung when it comes to contract chip manufacturing. Amazon has signed up for its data center infrastructure, and Qualcomm has had its head turned by the promised Intel 20A process node in 2024.
With Qualcomm chasing the most advanced node on Intel's roadmap, CEO Pat Gelsinger wanted to point out that the tech available to Intel Foundry Services (IFS) will come in parity, or at least soon after its own products.
Intel will be "making the best of Intel available for our foundry customers," says Gelsinger, adding that "IFS is off to the races."
Okay, so that's maybe not quite as big news as Intel starting to manufacture the next generation of Apple M1 CPUs would have been, or if AMD had decided to give Intel some business. But those are still two names that we've at least heard of.
There were some who expected that Intel's first customers, taking a punt on the company's burgeoning foundry business, might end up being some tiny, no-name chip designer. But, while we're not going to see Amazon's Intel-built chips in consumer devices, we likely will see Qualcomm's future tech in mobile devices of tomorrow.
As well as announcing its first foundry customers at the Intel Accelerated event, CEO Pat Gelsinger has also unveiled its brand new naming scheme for manufacturing process nodes (opens in new tab), aiming to match it's foundry rival, TSMC, node-for-node.
Not only that but Intel has also introduced RibbonFET, its first new transistor design since Tri-Gate, or FinFET back in 2011. RibbonFET is also known as Gate All Around, or NanoSheet, and will represent some serious performance per watt enhancements with the Intel 20A node.