Intel and MediaTek today announced the start of a strategic partnership in which Intel Foundry Services (IFS) will start producing chips for Mediatek, the fourth-largest chipmaker in 2021, for a series of cutting-edge smart devices.
In this way, MediaTek thus joins Qualcomm Yes Amazon web service (AWS) as initial customers, in addition to the United States Department of Defense, of course.
As it is revealed, Intel will be in charge of producing its future chips using its manufacturing process “Intel 16“, a revamped version of the node formerly known as 22FFLOr in other words, Intel 22nm FinFET low powera manufacturing process designed to combine high performance with extremely low consumption.
The announcement comes at a time when the US semiconductor industry, and in particular Intel, is poised to receive the main government subsidies to increase chip manufacturing in the United States.
This way, for now, MediaTek will continue to have all of its high-performance chips tied to TSMC, so the company diversify its supply chain adding the production capacity Intel has in both the US and Europe.
Intel declined to comment on delivery times for MediaTek products, but says the “Intel 16” node will be available for “tapeouts” (early silicon revisions) to its customers in 2022, while mass production of these wafers will be available for their partners in early 2023.
“MediaTek has a long history of adopting a multi-vendor strategy. We have a 5G data card business partnership with Intel, and now we are expanding our relationship to manufacturing smart edge devices through Intel Foundry Services,” said NS Tsai, senior vice president of Platform Technology. and manufacturing operations at MediaTek.
MediaTek currently manufactures more than 2 billion devices a year, but it’s unclear how many of these will soon come from Intel’s foundries. Intel also does not specify what proportion of MediaTek’s production will take place in the United States or Europe, telling Tom’s Hardware that “we cannot comment on customer product details“.
“As one of the world’s leading fabless chipmakers powering over 2 billion devices a year, MediaTek is a great partner for IFS as we enter our next phase of growth,” said the President. of IFS, Randhir Thakur.
“We have the right mix of manufacturing process technologies and geographically diverse capabilities to help MediaTek deliver the next billion connected devices across a range of applications.”
For Intel Node 16, Intel has further upgraded the 22FFL technology and added support with third-party chip design tools, which contrasts with Intel’s own design tools that it uses internally. For IFS, supporting third-party electronic design automation (EDA) software for chip design is a critical step if it wants to attract chip designers to its production departments.
“This is an opportunity for IFS to build a real foundry business. There will likely be growth issues in the future, so IFS needs a customer who is willing to work with them,” said Kevin Krewell from Tirias Research to Tom’s Hardware.