Chip giant Intel Corp. is leveraging the billions of dollars it spends on state-of-the-art manufacturing technology by providing fab services to other semiconductor companies. On Tuesday, Altera Corp., a leading maker of FPGAs, announced it would manufacture its next generation products using Intel’s 14 nm technology.
"Altera's FPGAs using Intel 14 nm technology will enable customers to design with the most advanced, highest-performing FPGAs in the industry," said John Daane, president, CEO and chairman of Altera. "In addition, Altera gains a tremendous competitive advantage at the high end in that we are the only major FPGA company with access to this technology."
Intel is slowly opening up its factory network to other companies as it seeks to gain ground in a market dominated by foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC). These companies became giants in the chip industry by supporting start-up semiconductor companies that didn’t want to invest in building their own fabs. They also helped mainstream chip companies stay competitive by alleviating the need to build new fabs every few years.
Altera currently uses TSMC as its primary foundry and in a statement said it would continue its relationship with TSMC. Altera's next-generation products will now include 14nm, in addition to previously announced 20nm technologies.
"We look forward to collaborating with Altera on manufacturing leading-edge FPGAs, leveraging Intel's leadership in process technology," said Brian Krzanich, chief operating officer, Intel. "Next-generation products from Altera require the highest performance and most power-efficient technology available, and Intel is well positioned to provide the most advanced offerings."