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Intel will manufacture Angstrom-based chips for Qualcomm to compete with foundry rivals by 2025

Intel will manufacture Angstrom-based chips for Qualcomm to compete with foundry rivals by 2025
  • Intel will be making chips for Qualcomm soon.
  • The chip maker will no longer use nanometer-based node nomenclature.
  • The Intel 20A process will take us to the Angstrom era with node sizes less than a nanometer.
Intel has announced that it will make chips for Qualcomm as part of the business for its Intel Foundry Services, without giving the exact dates of when we can expect these chips. This could be Intel’s bid to make a return to the smartphone market through this indirect route. Currently, the smartphone segment is dominated by Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets.

Along with Qualcomm, Amazon will be another client of Intel Foundry Services, as Intel will be packaging for Amazon Web Services(AWS).

In a webcast, Intel revealed its future plans and roadmap to compete with its foundry rivals by 2025. As part of the plan, Intel will not be using the nanometer-based node nomenclature that the company has been using for years. The company will begin with the 12th generation Alder Lake chips that will launch later this year. Intel will use a new nomenclature which it says will give “a more accurate view of the process nodes across the industry”. The decision might have been a result of playing catch up with its competitors Samsung, AMD and others in terms of node size.

Intel's roadmap to Angstrom-based chips

Taking on its competitors, Intel will now refer to its 10nm chips as Intel 7, suggesting that it is as powerful as AMD Ryzen’s 7nm chips. The Alder Lake chips will be the first chips to use this technology and the company claims that these chips will offer a 10-15% improvement in performance per watt over the previous generation.

The 7nm chip will be called Intel 4, as the company wants to take on AMD’s smaller node nomenclatures in the future. The chip will use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology that is currently seen in Samsung and TSMC’s 5nm node. These chips will only be available in 2023 and Intel says it will offer about 20% improvement in performance per watt.

In 2024, we will see the Intel 3 and Intel 20A. Intel 3 will be the second-generation 7nm chips that are expected to offer better performance per watt than the Intel 4 chips.

The Intel 20A process will be used in Qualcomm's next chip. It will see a new processor architecture called RibbonFET, which is an upgrade from the FinFET process that the company has used since 2011. It promises higher transistor density and smaller nodes. The process will also use PowerVia technology that lets chips be powered from the back. With the Intel 20A process, Intel wants to bring the ‘Angstrom era’ that will reduce the node size to less than a nanometer.

Intel recently lost business to Apple’s ARM-based M1 chip used in the MacBook that is made on 5nm process technology by TSMC. If Intel can deliver according to its plan, it could take on its competitors like Samsung, TSMC and AMD and attract more customers for its new improved chips.

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