Last year launched Intel Foundry Services, their third party chip production arm that takes contract jobs to make chips for others. They’ve now also announced their latest client, MediaTek. According to them, the deal will see IFS help MediaTek build a more ‘balanced, resilient supply chain’ by adding a new foundry partner in IFS with a presence in the United States and Europe.
“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. 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,” – Randhir Thakur, IFS President
Will this mean that we’ll be seeing smartphones with Intel-made MediaTek chips soon? Not for now it seems, as the deal will see Intel first start by making MediaTek chips for use primarily in smart edge devices. For now Intel will use their Intel 16 process node in these MediaTek chips, an improved version of the 22FFL process, an older technology used mostly for high performance, low power and always-on devices. They did not however reveal just how many chips Intel will be making for MediaTek.
“MediaTek has long adopted a multi-sourcing strategy. We have an existing 5G data card business partnership with Intel, and now extend our relationship to manufacturing smart edge devices through Intel Foundry Services.
With its commitment to major capacity expansions, IFS provides value to MediaTek as we seek to create a more diversified supply chain,” – NS Tsai, MediaTek corporate senior vice president
Landing MediaTek, traditionally a TSMC customer, is a major deal for IFS, as Intel continues to expand their third party chip making capabilities. They’ve already signed with some other big names, such as Amazon AWS, and even Qualcomm, who signed up with Intel last year.
Unlike MediaTek though who signed up to use an older process with Intel, Qualcomm has only signed with Intel to use the Intel 20A process node, one that’s scheduled to debut sometime in 2024 so we may need to wait till then to see a proper smartphone with an Intel-made processor in it.