Many of us see Intel as self-serving with its chip manufacturing, but that's not entirely true: it just hasn't had very large customers. A just-unveiled deal with Altera might help shatter those preconceptions. Intel has agreed to make some of the embedded technology giant's future field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) using a 14-nanometer process, giving Intel a top-flight customer while giving Altera a leg up over any rivals stuck on less efficient technologies. The pact may be just the start -- Intel VP Sunit Rikhi portrays the deal as a stepping stone toward a greater role in contract chip assembly in an interview with Reuters. We're not expecting Intel to snatch some business directly from the likes of GlobalFoundries and TSMC when many of their clients are ARM supporters, or otherwise direct competitors. However, we'll have to reject notions that Intel can't share its wisdom (and factories) with others.
Altera to Build Next-Generation, High-Performance FPGAs on Intel's 14 nm Tri-Gate Technology
San Jose, Calif., Feb. 25, 2013 - Altera Corporation and Intel Corporation today announced that the companies have entered into an agreement for the future manufacture of Altera FPGAs on Intel's 14 nm tri-gate transistor technology. These next-generation products, which target ultra high-performance systems for military, wireline communications, cloud networking, and compute and storage applications, will enable breakthrough levels of performance and power efficiencies not otherwise possible.
"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."
Altera's next-generation products will now include 14nm, in addition to previously announced 20nm technologies, extending the company's tailored product portfolio that meets myriad customer needs for performance, bandwidth and power efficiency across diverse end applications.
"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."
Adding this world-class manufacturer to Altera's strong foundation of leading-edge suppliers and partners furthers the company's ability to deliver on the promise of silicon convergence; to integrate hardware and software programmability, microprocessors, digital signal processing, and ASIC capability into a single device; and deliver a more flexible and economical alternative to traditional ASICs and ASSPs.