Well, there sure are interesting things afoot in the land of Intel these days. Just last month the chipmaker announced a $6 to $8 billion dollar investment in factory upgrades to push ahead with hits 22nm manufacturing process, and it's now announced that its struck a first of its kind deal with upstart semiconductor company Achronix. That deal involves Intel actually giving Achronix access to its 22nm fab process, which Achronix will use to manufacture its 22i Speedster FPGAs (said to boast a 300% higher performance and 50% lower power than FPGAs using any other process technology). While that arrangement is notable in and of itself, Intel seems to be going out of its way to downplay the size of the deal. In a blog post discussing the matter, Intel's Bill Kircos notes that the deal "would only make up a tiny amount of our overall capacity, significantly less than one percent, and is not currently viewed as financially material to Intel's earnings." He does add that it is an "important endeavor" for Intel, though, which could possibly suggest that Intel is using the company as a testbed of sorts for its new manufacturing process.

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Intel providing 22nm fabrication capacity to semiconductor start-up