Intel Indicators MediaTek as Third Main Foundry Buyer

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Intel has made MediaTek the third main buyer of its new foundry service after Qualcomm and Amazon signed up almost a yr in the past.

Intel Foundry Companies (IFS) kicked off final yr as a part of CEO Pat Gelsinger’s IDM 2.0 technique to create distinct Intel–branded and foundry companies, the latter of which competes with high rivals Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung Foundry. MediaTek, the world’s high–ranked smartphone chipmaker, is certainly one of TSMC’s largest clients.

The settlement helps MediaTek safe a extra resilient provide chain by the addition of foundry companion IFS, offering important capability within the U.S. and Europe, in response to Intel’s press assertion.

Randhir Thakur (Supply: Intel)

“As one of many world’s main fabless chip designers powering greater than 2 billion gadgets a yr, MediaTek is a terrific companion,” mentioned IFS president Randhir Thakur in a press assertion. “Now we have the appropriate mixture of superior course of know-how and geographically various capability to assist MediaTek ship the subsequent billion linked gadgets throughout a variety of functions.”

MediaTek plans to make use of Intel course of applied sciences to fabricate chips for a variety of good edge gadgets. IFS presents manufacturing applied sciences for prime–efficiency and low–energy silicon that features a roadmap for 3D FinFET transistors.

“MediaTek has lengthy adopted a multi–sourcing technique,” mentioned NS Tsai, a company senior vp at MediaTek. “Now we have an present 5G knowledge card enterprise partnership with Intel, and now prolong our relationship to manufacturing good edge gadgets by IFS.”

With its dedication to main capability expansions, IFS will assist MediaTek meet rising demand from clients worldwide, Tsai added. MediaTek’s largest smartphone clients are at the moment in China.

Along with smartphone chips, MediaTek offers good edge silicon to clients equivalent to Amazon. MediaTek chips energy Amazon merchandise equivalent to Alexa, the voice–actuated, cloud–primarily based private assistant that may management different good gadgets. Alexa and different Amazon merchandise, equivalent to Echo and Fireplace TV, additionally run on MediaTek chips.

The IFS deal might tighten the partnership between Intel, Amazon, and MediaTek.

At this level, Amazon “arguably is extra a packaging than foundry buyer” for IFS, in response to Matt Bryson, an government vp with Wedbush Securities.

Qualcomm and MediaTek are excellent clients for IFS as a result of the smartphone chipmakers don’t have a aggressive relationship with Intel.

“Qualcomm and Mediatek make a ton of sense as Intel targets as a result of they don’t actually compete in opposition to Intel within the datacenter or PC area… in contrast to AMD, Marvell, Nvidia, and so forth.,” Bryson mentioned.

At this stage, the Intel cope with MediaTek seems preliminary. The businesses didn’t disclose particulars on course of applied sciences or particular merchandise.

The manufacturing schedule can be essential, in response to Bryson. “By that I imply what’s the timing on the deal? Subsequent yr, 2024, 2025, and so forth., and what chips… flagship modems/APUs or one thing else with decrease volumes?”

Even so, the Intel cope with MediaTek will doubtless blunt a robust improve in costs from high foundry TSMC, in response to Mehdi Hosseini, a senior analysis analyst with Susquehanna Worldwide. MediaTek is likely one of the 5–largest clients of TSMC, which has been elevating wafer costs amid an ongoing chip scarcity.

“TSMC may have challenges to boost wafer costs by greater than ~5% per yr and looking out ahead (2023 and past),” Hosseini advised EE Occasions. “TSMC is on observe to get pleasure from a 20–25% improve in blended wafer common gross sales costs in 2022.”

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