Intel and ARM have struck a deal that will see the best of both worlds merged in a single manufacturing process at Intel’s Custom Foundry.
ARM’s Artisan IP can now be blended with Intel’s incredibly tiny 10nm process to achieve” best-in-class PPA (power, performance, area)” chipsets. Custom Foundry is described as a “turnkey” method for customers like LG to design chipsets for specific devices.
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This means that Intel will be building chipsets with ARM technology, striking a unique balance between desktop and mobile. The company has all but abandoned its mobile efforts, conceding defeat to ARM-based chipsets like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A-series.
At one point, Intel made a half-hearted move into mobile via Dell, but it just never panned out as the company hoped.
Intel and ARM aren’t sharing any IP; the deal simply brings Intel’s impressive chipset minimization and ARM’s mobile know-how together.
We have to wonder if this is the end result of that subtle rumor we’d heard a while ago about Intel making a play for Apple’s business. At the time, its 10nm chipsets sounded like a good fit for wearables like the Apple Watch as well as iPhones, but it would have been a big change for Apple.
Intel also says its Custom Foundry is now able to “accelerate ecosystem readiness while providing greater flexibility and time-to-market advantages to our customers.”