Last year Intel announced that it would manufacture Altera's ARM-based quad-core Stratix 10 processors, as part of its efforts to grow its foundry business to make silicon products for third parties. Now the two vendors are expanding the relationship to include multi-die devices integrating Altera's field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) with a range of other components, from memory to ASICs to processors.
Multi-die devices can drive down production costs and improve performance and energy efficiency of chips for everything from high-performance servers to communications systems. The multi-die devices will take advantage of the Stratix 10 programmable chips that Intel is manufacturing for Altera with its 14-nanometer Tri-Gate process. Intel's three-dimensional transistor architecture combined with Altera's FPGA redundancy technology leads to Altera being able to create a highly dense and energy efficient programmable chip die that can offer better integration of components.
At the same time, Intel officials are looking for ways to make more cash from its manufacturing capabilities, including growing its foundry business by making chips for other vendors. CEO Brian Krzanich and other Intel executives have said they will manufacture third-party chips even if they are based on competing infrastructure, which is the case with Altera and its ARM-based chips.