Do you seriously believe Intel will fab ARM SoCs for all its competitors on its latest processes? That won't happen unless Intel spins off its expensive idling fabs, or if demand for x86 CPUs falls significantly.
This quote just added to the story:
"It is not Intel's objective to become a general foundry service provider," said Len Jelinek, a chief analyst at IHS iSuppli. Rather it aims "to select a few high volume [foundry] clients [that] provide Intel with an additional revenue stream to help defer the cost of its advanced manufacturing capability," he said.
In a world dominated increasingly by ARM based designs at the expense of X86, device & mfg are Intel's remaining strengths. But to stay ahead of the pack and generate enough revenue for R&D and next gen Fabs, Intel needs volume. Otherwise TSMC will soon catch up.
To maintain R&D & process lead Intel must not only generate enough revenue of its own but also deny TSMC and Samsung the tech creds and huge revenues they have been making from Foundry service. Even though demand for Mobile chips is expected to grow at 30+ %, when it comes to tech creds. and markup ( ASP ) it is still a zero sum game. Just look at TSMC vs older UMC at 28 nm.
As Intel's cash cow PC business begins to stagnate in spite of their best design / marketing effort, they need to find new volume, FPGAs and network processors ain't gonna do it. Mobile is the obvious answer.
Pushing own high end designs ( but with 32 nm transistors - no better than Foundries ! ) as a continuation of the top dog mentality ( a byproduct of the x86 monopoly ) has bombed.
Instead Intel should accept reality and implement a nuanced strategy to grow its Mobile business, but still leveraging their lead in process / mfg. tech :
1. Commit to QC and AAPL no competition in leading edge chips for Mobile ( what does US anti-trust laws have to say about that ? any exceptions during the Great Recession ? )
2. Offer these large Fabless co.s Foundry service from Intel's upcoming 20,14 nm Fabs( 2 nodes, well ahead of TSMC / Samsung ).
3. develop its own non ARM architecture & processor / baseband chips ( like MediaTek ) for low end Smartphones & Tablets ( perhaps cheap Windows Phablets to replace Laptops ) aimed at emerging markets but still using its leading node ( 20 nm ) Fabs & therefore lower power ( compared to TSMC or Samsung )
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 16 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...