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Baolt
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
Baolt   11/24/2010 9:58:24 PM
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Well, u dont consider ARM fact, who is getting more and more serious competitor for intel at where they are leading the world. ARM will move in to server business, rolling out 64bit chip desings etc. which are good warning messages to a giant who should keep its place. if id be intels head id go for all possible markets in order to diversify companies business units. With latest announcement its more clear that intel admin fellows are thinking in the same way. They entered to FPGA business with embedding their Atom. Xilinx, altera etc. are giant players of fpga but depended on foundry. Intel not. Intel still growing its factory muscle, and can easily play as foundry, they have everything they need. Lots of fabless co.s who are in search for cheap, reliable production, leading research facilities...

docdivakar
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
docdivakar   11/16/2010 6:03:40 PM
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Foundry businesses are indeed very competitive with low margins. Invariably, they will have to be situated in low labour cost locations. I am not sure where Intel plans to execute the Achronix projects, it will have to be an Asian location to make a few bucks off of this business model. At present, the only confirmed Intel 22nm fab is in Chandler AZ; Intelís 45nm fab in Israel apparently waiting for the 22nm upgrade. There is certainly a bigger delta between US and Asian locations, so Israel location may end up providing a temporary buffer for cost containment till the Asian locations are operational. As regards to value addition and consequently higher profit margins, I remember reading about Intel planning to offer III-V channel materials, multi-gate transistors, 3-D stacking and others. 3D stacking is a hot topic at the moment and may see Intelís mass production in the near future. Dr. MP Divakar

Nis79
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
Nis79   11/9/2010 4:38:50 PM
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Partnership might be part of Intel's plan for the new Intel Atom family called Stellarton . Stellarton is planned to be a reconfigurable processor, Ideally an Intel Atom processor clubbed with an FPGA on a multi-chip package providing additional flexibility for customers to incorporate proprietary I/O.

HexDigital
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
HexDigital   11/9/2010 3:54:25 PM
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Intel has: (1) Bought a software company - McAfee, to try and diversify into the software business (2) Bought Infineon's wireless chip business, to diversify into cell phones (3) Have agreed to serve as a foundry for Achronix... Can you think of integrating all these three area and plus Intel's powerful processor muscle? What is Intel heading to?

gutieaphd
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
gutieaphd   11/8/2010 9:29:40 PM
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My bet is that Intel would spun out 300 mm Fabs one by one into a Pure Play Foundry that Intel controls 51%, and then transition to 450 mm with processors and wireless using fully owned Fabs. It would be a cost cutting move designed to limit the risk of migrating to 450 mm in the US while gradually building up capacity overseas. Intel could operate relatively low volume lines at 450 mm for leading edge high margin products while gradually squeezing everyone else out of the Foundry business using the 300 mm lines as workhorses operating at near full capacity.

CarpeDiem
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
CarpeDiem   11/8/2010 9:24:57 PM
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Do watch this video from about 2 years ago by Shekhar Borkar of Intel Research. He warns of impending problems with reliability of devices at future nodes. Could it be that Intel is planning for the future with all these efforts to diversify and this latest stride into reconfigurability ? http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9206541712979151591#

3D Guy
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
3D Guy   11/8/2010 11:50:24 AM
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Would also like to add that I don't think it makes sense for Intel to get into the foundry business. This is for two reasons: - Their fabs are in the US and Europe and are very very expensive!!!! TSMC's wafer cost in their Taiwan fab can be as much as 40% lower than the wafer cost of Intel's fab in the US due to all kinds of government incentives (labor costs help a little bit too). - Being a foundry is a low margin business compared to doing x86 processors... if Intl are successful in the foundry business and draw large revenues in that area, they will get blasted by Wall St., since their overall gross margin will come down.

3D Guy
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Manager
re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
3D Guy   11/8/2010 11:29:45 AM
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@ Mark: I actually don't know if Intel will succeed in FPGAs if it tries to enter the market with Achronix. There are established market leaders, Xilinx and Altera, with high volumes, the chances for a new entrant making it is small :-( As you'd know, many (including Intel) have tried and failed before. In general, though, over the past few months, we have seen Intel try really hard to diversify. They have: (1) Bought a software company - McAfee, to try and diversify into the software business (2) Bought Infineon's wireless chip business, to diversify into cell phones (3) Have agreed to serve as a foundry for Achronix... my interpretation is that they're trying to enter the FPGA business with this. If I were Intel's CEO, I personally would not try to shoot in all directions like this. They're trying to enter three different market segments: software, wireless chips and FPGAs all at the same time!!!!! I would pick one high growth area, focus on it and try to succeed in that, then try to diversify further. If I were Intel, I would have bought Xilinx or Altera first to get into FPGAs. It is widely expected that FPGAs will form a $50B market in 10 years time because ASICs will be unaffordable for everything except the highest volumes. FPGAs are easy to print lithographically, and there would be good synergy with Intel's fabs and scaling roadmap. Then, after the acquisition is sewn up, I would try to enter other high margin markets such as software. The wireless chip business has too much competition, and margins are low, I wouldn't try to go there.

dnenni
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
dnenni   11/8/2010 4:54:17 AM
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http://wp.me/psH60-25o Out of the 5 stated outcomes I pick #6.

sranje
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re: Will Intel be a big foundry player?
sranje   11/7/2010 11:21:55 PM
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Here are my 2 cents: 1. Intel might acquire Achronix - if the company's approach has value and merits for Intel's needs 2. There is a scenario in which TSMC might need Intel in its core business. Only Intel and IBM have world-class research labs in materials and process research. In this scenario GlobalFoundries has an advantage in HK/MG over TSMC but is also not viable without a full symbiosis with IBM. A corollary is that TSMC, a superb manufacturing company, might need partnership with Intel (or IBM !?) to move beyond silicon, in 14nm and below.

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