Intel expands foundry partnership with Altera


Intel's (INTC -0.2%) foundry deal with Altera (ALTR -1.2%), first announced a year ago, has been expanded to include chip packages that combine Altera's next-gen Stratix 10 FPGAs (set to be manufactured using Intel's cutting-edge 14nm process) with DRAM, SRAM, ASICs, and other chips.

Intel and Altera declare the packages will combine the density/integration benefits of its traditional 2.5D/3D chip-packaging approaches with "favorable economic metrics," and that Altera's Intel-manufactured FPGA chip dies will offer unmatched densities and component integration.

Altera is counting on Intel's manufacturing expertise to give it an edge over archrival Xilinx (XLNX -0.8%), which continues to rely on TSMC (TSM +0.4%).

TSMC also happens to be Altera's traditional foundry partner. Xilinx began shipping FPGAs based on the foundry's new 20nm process last fall.

Intel has said it plans to be a "selective" foundry for 3rd-party chipmakers, one focused on higher-margin/value-add deals. In addition to Altera, the chip giant may have landed Cisco as a client.

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Comments (10)
  • markitos
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    If that is not resound confirmation of the fact that Altera sticking with Intel as its foundry I do not know what would be. As to the statement that "Xilinx began shipping FPGAs based on TSMC's new 20nm process last fall." It is not true!!! Actually Xilinx announcement stated: "Initial UltraScale device samples are shipping now. General sampling begins in Q12014. " So Xilinx in its desperation was trying to assure their customer base that they will not lose to Altera when 14 nm chips will be shipped in 2H2014. There are no mass production of 20 nm chips by TSMC. When and if they will start mass production it will be at a fab with maximum capacity of 20,000 wafer starts per month with yield that is known to TSMC only. In other words the cost to end-user could be significantly higher than the cost to manufacture chips at 28 nm node and that if it will go in a mass production.
    26 Mar 2014, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • rko2000
    , contributor
    Comments (752) | Send Message
     
    markitos,

     

    Did you read the Altera announcement?

     

    Still no date of tapeout (or just the beginning of tapeout) or volume production.

     

    In contrast, Xlinx is delivering 20nm chips to customers, and announced tapeout of 16nm FinFET in progress. Q1 or Q2 2015 will see Xlinx's 16nm chips hit market.

     

    It won't surprise me if Altera craws back to TSMC's 16nm, because it cannot afford to be 1-2 years late than Xlinx.
    26 Mar 2014, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • bala69
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    just a question.. so you believe that Intel and Altera will not be able to come up with 14nm chip even by Q1 or Q2 2015 when Xilinx will have 16nm chip out?
    26 Mar 2014, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Securities Attorney
    , contributor
    Comments (4032) | Send Message
     
    bala,

     

    >>by Q1 or Q2 2015 when Xilinx will have 16nm chip out?<<

     

    I doubt Xilinx will have a 16nm chip out by Q4 2016.
    26 Mar 2014, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • markitos
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    rko2000,
    Correct me if I am wrong, to my knowledge only one company today qualified its etchers for 20 and 14/16 nm node. That company is Lam. From 3Q CC they said that only one company has equipped fab for 20 nm with 20 to 25K wafer starts per month. Below is from 4Q CC:

     

    Chad Dillard - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division
    This is Chad Dillard on for the line of Vishal. From the industry's perspective, can you talk about how you see the amount of 20-nanometer being installed for 2014 from a wafer start perspective?

     

    Martin B. Anstice - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
    Yes, given the concentration of a couple of customers, I'm going to kind of resist that level of specificity. It's, as I said, I do expect the -- maybe you got to triangulate a little here. We are forecasting in the range of $13 billion, $14 billion of WFE. I think kind of the public commentary and analyst commentary on 20-nanometer cost is approximately $1.25 billion, $1.3 billion per 10,000 wafer starts addition. And I kind of said I expect that the 20-nanometer addition is greater than the 14 and 16 addition. I think if you kind of work with those data points, you're going to find out a pretty reliable answer to your question.

     

    So in your opinion, where TSMC fits in the picture that Lam presented knowing that Intel already shipping 14 nm chips? To me it is obvious that they are too far behind Intel.
    26 Mar 2014, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • bala69
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    @Retired Securities Attorney

     

    I was asking the question to rko2000. I believe the same what you are saying.
    27 Mar 2014, 02:50 AM Reply Like
  • Retired Securities Attorney
    , contributor
    Comments (4032) | Send Message
     
    bala,

     

    I actually knew that. I couldn't resist sticking my two cents in. Sorry.
    27 Mar 2014, 06:43 AM Reply Like
  • marklihsu
    , contributor
    Comments (484) | Send Message
     
    Waiting for the doubters...
    26 Mar 2014, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • bala69
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    I will love to see comment from ppl who doubted that the collaboration between Intel and Altera would collapse and they would not go with 14nm.
    26 Mar 2014, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • Jim Brody
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Intel Foundry has unannounced mobile customer(s) in the bay area. Hmm, I wonder who they could be?

     

    See this job ad Intel posted last fall: http://linkd.in/1gYXaA9

     

    Some key parts:

     

    "The Mobile Solutions Architect is a new role being formed within the Intel Custom Foundry to lead the development of integrated specifications for our Intel Foundry mobile technology solution (Process, IP, Packaging, etc)."

     

    "Preferred Mobile Solutions Architect location is Santa Clara, California, but may be flexible. Travel is required. Customers are primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and Foundry design and manufacturing teams are centered in Oregon."

     

    "Position of Trust: This role is a Position of Trust. Should you accept this position, you must consent to and pass an extended Background Investigation"
    26 Mar 2014, 10:37 PM Reply Like
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