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This article was published on August 17, 2016


Intel strikes deal to make ARM-based chipsets in its Custom Foundry

Intel strikes deal to make ARM-based chipsets in its Custom Foundry
Nate Swanner
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Nate Swanner

Former Reporter, TNW

TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

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.

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.”