No surprises if Intel quits contract chipmaking market

Intel’s recent announcement about refocusing its manufacturing resources on its own products has raised speculation again that the company may discontinue its so-called custom foundry business. Sources in Taiwan’s chipmaking industry has responded by saying they would not be surprised by Intel’s exit from the contract manufacturing market.

The sources said that Intel has been in the contract chipmaking maket for years, but has not been really devoting much to competing against TSMC and Samsung. The firm’s foundry service, which asks for higher prices than competitors’, exists in name only, with no major clients or large orders recorded, the sources said.

Over the past two years, speculations about Intel likely to quit the contract manufacturing sector have kept appearing, but the company has never responded to them.

At its Technology and Manufacturing Day in 2017, Intel promised that it would help clients access the firm’s technology and manufacturing resources by providing them with turnkey services covering chip design, fabrication, packaging and testing. The company has since launched diverse all-function design platforms associated with its 22nm, 14nm and 10nm FinFET processes to serve customers, reportedly prompting many firms to build partnerships with Intel, including LG Electronics seeking to create a world-class mobile platform based on Intel’s 10nm process.

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