Published in PC Hardware

TSMC start making Intel’s Core i3

by on21 January 2021

5nm in the second quarter

TSMC is to start making Intel's Core i3 on its 5nm process in 2H21 according to beancounters at TrendForce.

Trendforce reports that foundry TSMC is to start making Intel's Core i3 process later in the year on a 5nm process.

This follows Intel's well documented problems with its leading edge process technology at 10nm and 7nm. The Core i3 move to a 5nm process is set to be followed by mid-range and high-end CPUs being produced for Intel by TSMC on a 3nm process in 2H22.

TrendForce did not give a source for the information, simply referencing "investigations". Intel has long outsourced production significant amounts of its non-CPU chips to TSMC and UMC -- about 15 to 20 percent of its output, according to Trendforce.

This is partly because it has often acquired fabless startups that had brought products to market using foundry. It was usually not worthwhile to re-engineer such products to Intel processes.

It is because Intel has wanted to focus on leading-edge specialist processes, although with less success in recent years. That 15 to 20 percent outsource was likely worth $10.5 billion to $14 billion in 2020, given Intel's annual $70 billion revenue.

Last modified on 21 January 2021
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