SAN JOSE, Calif. - Intel Corp. has quietly formed a foundry unit, sources said.
''The company has a small foundry business, which operates under the radar and is 'always looking' for customers,'' according to one source. ''The company has been doing this for sometime, but not saying anything about it or at least not publicizing it.''
Intel's motives are still unclear. ''I think making money isn't the driving reason for Intel's foundry interests. They'd have to be looking for other gains-like understanding a new technology, or getting their foot in the door of an emerging application,'' the source added.
This week, Intel announced its first foundry customer. Intel will lend its semiconductor process technology muscle to build FPGAs for programmable logic startup Achronix Semiconductor Corp. at 22-nm and beyond under the terms of a strategic agreement between the two companies announced Monday (Nov. 1).
It's unclear if Intel will be a big player in the foundry business.