Late last week, we received the surprising news that Intel had officially delayed the launch of any of its 7nm processor designs by at least a year. While Intel’s difficulties in transitioning to smaller node production have been well documented since 2017, it was certainly a moderate shock to find out that things were still this bad!
Well, following a report via TechPowerUp, if Intel were hoping that TSMC Foundries was going to be the answer to the problem, it seems that they might be set for a pretty big (or expensive) disappointment.
Internal sources reportedly close to TSMC have said that while Intel is keen to secure further production slots, the chipset manufacturer is currently not willing to allocate them anymore. Well, not unless Intel is willing to pay them a significant sum of money so that they can expand their current production capacity.
The report suggests that TSMC (possibly rather wisely) doesn’t view Intel as a ‘long term’ partner and, as such, is reluctant to commit to giving them any more ‘room’ on the production line nor any priority over their other current (and more prevalent) customers. AMD chiefly being one of the most notable.
With Comet Lake-S adding another yet another plus mark to their (increasingly embarrassing) 14nm platform, it’s pretty clear that Intel is somewhat desperate to move into smaller node designs as soon as possible. It is, after all, hard to deny that such a move has paid off hugely for AMD.
If they are planning to source TSMC for these chipset designs though (particularly as their dedicated Xe graphics card becomes a greater priority), it seems that they’re going to have to stump up a lot of cash for TSMC to consider it ‘worthwhile’.
What do you think? Will a deal be secured? Is TSMC right to take such a strong stance? – Let us know in the comments!
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