TSMC To Build Intel's Atom-Based ChipsBrian Caulfield, 03.02.09, 01:05 PM EST
Taiwan-based chip manufacturer to build processors based on Intel's Atom design.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--In a major shift for a company best known for its manufacturing prowess, computer chip giant Intel will work with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to build processors based on Intel's Atom design in an effort to push its processor technology into an ever broader array of gizmos.
The collaboration will allow the the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
The move is part of Intel's effort to push its x86 architecture, which is used in the vast majority of the world's personal computers and servers, into a wider array of lower-cost consumer devices.
"This is about allowing both of our companies to go after customers we are currently not pursuing with full vigor," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group at a meeting with reporters Monday morning.
Intel and rival Advanced Micro Devices
Intel does not plan to transfer any of its manufacturing-process technology to TSMC, nor will it stop manufacturing Atom processors in its own manufacturing facilities.
"This gives us access to a different market and allows our customers to build more differentiated products," says Sean Maloney, Intel's chief sales and marketing officer.
The two companies didn't say when TSMC will begin manufacturing processors based on Intel's designs. TSMC Chief Executive Rick Tsai promised the two will move quickly. "Once we have decided to do it, we will do it fast and efficiently," Tsai said, noting that his company had been proposing such an arrangement for several years.
Intel shares fell 17 cents, or 1.33%, to $12.57 in early Monday trading.