Intel Expresses Interest in Making Foundry Deals to Produce Custom Chips

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 26, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Reuters reports that Intel executives today expressed interested in making deals to produce custom chips for customers such as Apple, signaling that the company "wouldn't blink" about basing such custom chips on Intel's own architecture but that operating as a strict contract foundry for non-Intel-based chips would be a more difficult decision for the company.
    Initial reports had suggested that Apple might be shifting away from Samsung for production of its custom ARM-based chips used in its iOS device, turning to foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for production. And while Apple may still be looking to shift at least some capacity to TSMC, an early teardown of the A5 chip included in the iPad 2 confirmed that the chip was manufactured by Samsung.

    Article Link: Intel Expresses Interest in Making Foundry Deals to Produce Custom Chips
     
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  3. macrumors regular

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  4. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #4
    The writing is nowhere near on the wall for ARM taking over x86 in anything but the mobile handset business. Now, if ARM starts to make a serious threat to their business, it will become a more serious discussion if they still have a 1 generation process advantage over the rest of the world's foundries. However, by doing so, they would only make ARM's products better, undercutting their own. I'd say them making ARM cores is a long long way away, if it ever happens.

    Now, if you want to start talking about custom Intel cores that Apple collaborates with to make their logic boards, and by extension their products, more compact, I think that's a high value proposition for both sides.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    Makes you wonder....

    If Stacy Smith ever feels like Wester Union's William Orton. Do you disrupt your entire business model for the future or do you keep the rudder going forward?
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    #6
    Potentially Excellent News

    Obviously this would take some time to develop (years?), but this is potentially fantastic news for Apple. In the current context, I'm sure almost everyone would agree that a custom ULV Sandy Bridge chip stripped of its graphics core, clocked a bit higher, and coupled with a 3rd-party alternative would make a new line of MBA's unbeatable.

    But moving forward, hopefully Apple can find ways to streamline its own processes while stripping away general-purpose silicon from Intel parts. If so, we could see smaller dies, lower power consumption, and higher clock speeds for Machines running Mac OSX.

    The downside is that this could really hurt the Hackintosh community. People will make it work, but it will be less convenient than it is now.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    But it looks like Intel is seeing ARM as a serious threat. These recent announcements of Tri-Gate, lower TDP CPUs and now this are starting to look like Intel seriously tries to do something. Sure, Tri-Gate was in development for years so Intel didn't decide to design it yesterday but still, they could have pushed it further away.

    ARM lets OEMs do their own chips which can be a huge advantage. If Intel allows the same, ARM has one less advantage. Great news I think, I would appreciate some extra competition between OEMs and this would definitely provide it if every OEM had a slightly different chip.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #8
    On paper this is swift blow at ARM seeing as AMR licenses their designs (A4, and A5, etc) Intel's problem is that they don't really have the low power advantage, Atom is a joke about to be blown by AMD's Fusion APUs.

    However, in practice, this will take some time since not everyone will jump ship to Intel's architecture this soon. That said, I believe ARM will have the upper hand for a while, and they will be using it fully.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Aren't they already making kinda exclusive chips for Apple right now? I can't find any other laptop with the same exact i5 or i7 chips that the new macbook pros have.
     
  10. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #10
    Those chips are not exclusive, they are just a tad expensive for the average Joe computer. So they are not being sold widespread.

    That's why all you see is either Celeron, Pentium or Core i3...
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    mdriftmeyer

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    #11
    Intel isn't getting it

    Apple has spent a few billion developing their own IP and licensing of ARM IP with ImgTec to develop a NON-INTEL solution.

    They aren't moving towards INTEL for the Embedded space. They are moving as far away as possible.

    Just follow the LLVM project to catch a clue.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I see plenty of sandy bridge i5s and i7s on the market, but what other laptop has a 2415m i5?
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    mdriftmeyer

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    #13
    Intel is DOA for the Embedded space. Let them waste several billion attempting to compete against ARM licensing solutions. They won't win.

    Not only is ARM the iOS Platform for hardware, it is as well for Android, RIM and even Windows 7 Mobile is moving to ARM.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    #14
    This is like when Michael Dell said that if Apple licensed Mac OS X he'd put it on Dell's in a heartbeat.

    It doesn't mean it will happen.
     
  15. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #15
    Sure there are, but if you go to a Best Buy, weigh the amount of laptops with mid-high, & high-end Core i5 and Core i7 versus the amount of Pentium, Celeron and Core i3s...

    The same is said for almost every brick & mortar electronic stores
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Looks like that Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) will be a great stock to get into. It'll be at a bargain price under $14 tomorrow and possibly next week~! Might think about adding it to my portfolio...:rolleyes:
     
  17. macrumors 603

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    #17
    Does Apple buy enough Intel high-end chips to make a deal?

    "We'll keep on buying high-profit high-end x86 chips exclusively from you, if you also fab these cheap low-profit non-x86 chips for us."

    Coopetition.
     
  18. macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #18
    Intel doesn't want to get left behind by our increasingly mobile based society.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    ciTiger

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  20. macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Why does everyone take this as Intel designing chips for Apple?

    Apple can take their chip design to Intel and have them manufacture it.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #21
    No one does. I think everyone who has commented understands that intel would be licensing parts of their IP for them to manufacture.
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

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    #22
    :apple: needs to lose it's Samsung connection, and IT WILL HAPPEN, Samsung copied :apple: products, and payback is a bitch,especially feigning interest in AMOLED screens, and going ELSEWHERE, for your needs, my friend, SJ is very cunning,DON'T, ever count him out of the picture:apple:
     
  23. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #23
    AMOLED is the future. The question is when it will replace LCD, not if. Right now, Samsung has demonstrated itself as a clear leader in AMOLED displays, at least in mobile form factor sizes.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Apple is not going to stop until they manufacture all of their own parts. Trust me, they are probably already testing an ARM iMac. Intel knows this.
     
  25. macrumors 603

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    #25
    This interview actually indicates two things:

    1) There is absolutely no ongoing discussions with Apple about providing foundry services.
    2) If someone were to ask Intel for foundry services when the product does not rely on IA architecture "that would be a much more in-depth discussion and analysis" as opposed to cases where the product is based on Intel core (no discussions there - Intel is absolutely open for those deals).
     

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