Intel has announced the first major customer partnership for its foundry services, that being MediaTek. MediaTek is mostly known for developing smartphone processors based on Arm technology, as well as chips for other smart edge devices, and the partnership should enable the company to have a more resilient supply chain across the world, specifically in the United States and Europe. In turn, this should make it easier for more devices to use MediaTek processors without supply constraints.
Intel launched its Foundry Services (IFS) last year as part of a new strategy, which sees the company opening up its manufacturing facilities to other companies, with MediaTek being one of the first to jump on board. Intel typically only designs x86 processors, but the foundry services can build Arm processors too.
“As one of the world’s leading fabless chip designers powering more than 2 billion devices a year, MediaTek is a terrific partner for IFS as we enter our next phase of growth,” said IFS President Randhir Thakur. “We have the right combination of advanced process technology and geographically diverse capacity to help MediaTek deliver the next billion connected devices across a range of applications.”
Intel has been making major investments in order to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities. The company recently finalized the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Oregon, and it announced an investment of $20 billion to build another facility in Licking County, Ohio. Plus, over in Europe, over $36 billion are being invested to expand existing facilities and build new ones, all with the goal of making Intel a manufacturing powerhouse, not just for its own processors, but for third parties as well.
This is all part of the company’s IDM 2.0 strategy, which not only sees Intel becoming a major foundry partner for other chip designers, but also the opposite – Intel relying on other foundries for the manufacturing of certain chips. This should allow for a more open and fluid ecosystem and hopefully result in greater manufacturing capacity across the industry.
Having MediaTek as one of its partners is a huge step, seeing as the company is nearly tied with Qualcomm in terms of popularity on mobile devices. This isn’t the first time these two companies collaborate, since Intel and MediaTek are currently making 5G modems for cellular-connected PCs.
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