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Intel: Important announcements

Intel: Important announcements

In a major strategic shift, Intel announced a series of major news related to its manufacturing capabilities.

Information that not only clarified uncertainties about whether the company intended to continue building its own chips, but also clearly revealed Pat Gelsinger ‘s desire to get Intel back on track extremely aggressively.

20 billion dollars for two new factories…For starters.

The first announcement involves an almost immediate investment to build two new state-of-the-art factories focused on 7nm EUV (extreme ultraviolet) and less in Arizona. Gelsinger also said that additional foundry locations are in the works. Additional expansion announcements in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere in the world will be announced later this year.

Intel Fab 42 Arizona

Intel’s Arizona facility ( Fab 42 )

A more pragmatic strategy

If its investments will allow Intel to follow the steps of the U.S. government with production capacities “relocated” in the United States and Europe, an advantage that competitors like TSMC do not have, Intel has at the same time confirmed its willingness to solicit third-party capabilities.

The new strategy “IDM 2.0″* in three parts

The first part of this new strategy was mentioned at the beginning of this article. In-house manufacturing will continue to play a key role in Intel’s chip design and production, the announced investments are unequivocal.

Second, as has been known for a few months now, Intel will rely on increased use of external foundries, including TSMC, Samsung and GlobalFoundries, for the production of “products at the core of Intel’s computing offerings” for consumer and enterprise chips, starting in 2023.

Third, in order to account for market stress, the company will create the Intel Foundry service. With this tool, Intel will open its doors to manage the manufacturing of x86, Arm and RISC-V chips for other customers. Partners such as BM, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Google are mentioned but the company does not refrain from approaching Apple and others.

This new strategy represents a new ambition and a surprisingly aggressive approach that aims not only to help the company catch up with the other major chip vendors from a process perspective (rapidly deploying 7nm, 5nm and below), but also to work with them as needed on some of its own products until it reaches those goals (GPUs come to mind). At the same time, Intel announces that it will start positioning itself as a competitive manufacturing partner to produce for others.

However, as bold as Intel’s new strategy may seem, it is essential that the company executes on this vision and regains some of the prestige and trust it has lost in recent years. The new CEO has strongly emphasized his desire to put the ability to execute and deliver back at the heart of the company’s culture. The important signal on this point was therefore to confirm the roadmap.

Intel Meteor-Lake 7nm

The 7nm process finalized in the second quarter of this year

Intel has officially confirmed its future Meteor Lake processors will be etched with a next-generation 7nm process. A full range for desktop and mobility platforms will be released in 2023. Intel unveiled that Meteor Lake will be the first release of its own 7nm EUV process in volume. The industrialization of this process will be finalized in the second quarter of this year, which will mark a huge milestone for the company. For this new generation, Intel will combine different cores together, following an approach similar to its hybrid approach that will be found on the upcoming Alder Lake processors.

*What is IDM?

Pat Gelsinger ‘s use of the term IDM is not at all a reference to the Intel Download Manager or to Myocardial Infarction.

By IDM we mean “Integrated Device Manufacturer” which means a company that masters the end-to-end chain. In the case of Intel, it is a company that designs, manufactures and sells its own chips. A model in opposition to what Nvidia, AMD or others who do not have production capacity.


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Edited by Calliers

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