Intel announces Amazon and Qualcomm as its first foundry customers

Intel manufacturing
(Image credit: Intel)

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.

Cut the cord...

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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, 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.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.