New deal: MediaTek adds Intel as chip supplier along with TSMC

Intel announced the production of MediaTek chips in support of its market expansion.


The component shortage has changed the landscape for construction firms and their ability to build processors full-time. Qualcomm had already placed its trust in Samsung for the mass production of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and it is MediaTek that has decided to use a logistics partner to stay ahead of the chip market: Intel .

In an official communication , Intel announced this agreement to be a supplier of MediaTek components using the process technology “Intel Foundry Services” (IFS), a service of the technology company for the foundry of chips, and that seeks to reverse the red numbers of the company with this type of strategic alliances.

“As one of the world’s leading designers of factory-free chips powering more than 2 billion devices a year, MediaTek is an excellent partner for IFS as we enter our next phase of growth,” said IFS President, Randhir Thakur.

Intel and MediaTek, beyond TSMC

The announcement comes at a crucial time for the semiconductor construction industry, which has Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Cmpany (TSMC) as the largest global supplier to the likes of Nvidia, AMD, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Apple and Intel itself.

This agreement will allow IFS to build MediaTek ‘s custom chips in fields complementary to its line of smartphones: televisions, tablets and other electronic products. In this case we are not talking about a “leading process” in the field of semiconductor manufacturing, but about a reconverted architecture based on the 22FFL process , optimized for mobile phones due to its low consumption.

This new management dynamic for MediaTek chips is based on a 16-nanometer architecture, baptized for some time as “Intel 16”, which will allow it to have a presence in emerging IoT markets and other processes.

The agreement is designed to help MediaTek build a more balanced and resilient supply chain by bringing in a new foundry partner with significant capacity in the United States and Europe.

MediaTek accelerates against Qualcomm

Right now, MediaTek is capable of supplying processors to two billion devices each year. However, it is not known precisely what the workload will be for IFS versus TSMC.

NS Tsai, Corporate Senior Vice President of Platform Technology and Manufacturing Operations at MediaTek, said the firm “has long adopted a multi-source strategy. We have an existing 5G data card business partnership with Intel, and we are now expanding our relationship to manufacture smart edge devices through Intel Foundry Services.”

Intel IFS and your investment

For IFS, the challenge is enormous and attractive. Compared to the rest of the foundries, it must demonstrate solvency for the work of third parties, in addition to creating the tools and achieving the validation of different brands to become a viable option. It is an opportunity for IFS to establish itself as a true foundry business.

To strengthen IFS, Intel has taken several steps in recent years. For starters, it invested $20 billion to harden IFS as a foundry service to Nvidia, Qualcomm, and the US Department of Defense. In addition, it acquired Tower Semiconductors , a high-volume manufacturer with a large customer base, for $5.4 billion.

Among other decisions, Intel invested a billion dollars in the RISC-V ecosystem and took a concrete step in its commitment to ARM and extended x86 licenses for custom designs. In addition, it hired the head of TSMC’s Open Innovation Platform, Suk Lee, in July.