Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 19:49 UTC
Intel The Atom processor, the only bright spot on Intel's balance sheet, will soon no longer be manufactured by Intel itself (CNet has more). Intel has signed an agreement with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), outsourcing the production of the successful chip to Taiwan. While it's not the first time Intel outsources production of its silicon, it is still an unusual move for the company to outsource the production of such a major chip.
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Really unusual / relevant?
by Ford Prefect on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 20:50 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:

I don't see anything special here.

Intel's main market are still server, desktop processors and more powerfull mobile processors.

Outsourcing Atom means for them that they don't have to build necessary fabs for a larger quantity themselves. If the netbook hype somewhat diminishes or they fail to get into smaller devices, they just don't order anymore.

It may be that Netbooks are in the talks everywhere, but still Atom is not *that* an important processor to Intel. From the article refered to in the earlier story:
Intel recorded revenue of $8.2 billion
Atom [...] pulled in $300 million in revenue

That's 3.7%.

Edited 2009-03-02 20:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Really unusual / relevant?
by Luminair on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 03:03 UTC in reply to "Really unusual / relevant?"
Luminair Member since:

haha you don't see anything special? you are rebounding too hard against the article. there is a lot special about this whole situation.

Reply Score: 3

Ford Prefect Member since:

Yeah I'm wondering about this, seriously. Everybody is talking about the netbook market, but really. It is some gadget some people want to have and can afford. A clever way of creating an entirely new market. But this market will be repleted very quickly.

And about even smaller devices: Intel still has a lot of work to do. Ok I understand the idea of packing atom into a SoC design. Current implications? It will take them quite some time for the first prototype..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Really unusual / relevant?
by spiderman on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 06:31 UTC in reply to "Really unusual / relevant?"
spiderman Member since:

bla bla bla core business bla bla bla cooperation.
It is all about the price. Taiwanese workers cost less and their margin is not high enough on the atom. Some guys in their suit said they want more billions.

Reply Score: 3

by m4r35n357 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:41 UTC
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Well, apart from a pair of monopolists attempting to flood the low power netbook market with windoze machines . . .

Still, it's always easier to let others do the innovating then clean up later.


Reply Score: 1

RE: Special?
by renox on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 06:23 UTC in reply to "Special?"
renox Member since:

Given that Intel is also doing Linux's driver development, I think that it's fair to say that what they want is to flood the embedded world with x86 not necessarily Windows..

Yes Intel has a monopoly on x86 CPU, but I don't think that this agreement with TSMC is an abuse of their monopoly.

Reply Score: 2

this is why
by poundsmack on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 22:28 UTC
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28nm atom's. while intel and AMD will be at 32nm by then TSMC will be a little better off.

Reply Score: 2

RE: this is why
by poundsmack on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 23:11 UTC in reply to "this is why"
poundsmack Member since:


"As part of the collaboration, Intel Atom CPU cores will be ported to the TSMC technology platform including processes, IP, libraries, and design flows. The result will have Intel Atom SoCs available for a wider range of applications. Intel says it will significantly broaden the market opportunities for the Atom SoCs and accelerate the deployment through multiple SoC implementations."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: this is why
by Treza on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE: this is why"
Treza Member since:

You're right, that's the thing.

It is about creating custom SoCs around Intel CPUs.
It is about competing ARM CPUs with x86 architecture IPs.

Reply Score: 1

RE: this is why
by javiercero1 on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 02:40 UTC in reply to "this is why"
javiercero1 Member since:

TSMC is still working out the kinks out of their 40nm process. Intel has working 32nm *today*.

Intel will be in 22nm lad by the time TSMC has anything close to be working regarding their 28nm process.

By the time they get their 28nm ready (I haven't heard of that node size). Unless their 28 nm is a half node revision of their 40nm process (TSMC has a history of doing 0.5 node increases rather than full node releases, i.e. their 55nm process is pretty much a tweaked 65nm process, like their 80nm was to the 90nm).

Reply Score: 2