Intel Plans to Make Chips for Qualcomm in the Future

Intel today announced that it is teaming up with Qualcomm to manufacture some of Qualcomm’s future chips. The chips will be manufactured using Intel’s 20A process, which is expected to ramp in 2024.

Things can get a little confusing in the semiconductor world. while many companies design chips, not all of them actually manufacture their own hardware. Qualcomm, for instance, has had its Snapdragon processors made by both Samsung and TSMC. It’s a similar story for Apple.

While Intel has traditionally focused on making its own chips, it’s recently been expanding its foundry services to manufacture chips for other companies. Qualcomm will be among the first use Intel’s just-announced 20A process, scheduled to make its debut in 2024. In all, Intel says it plans to catch up to major competitors in the foundry space by 2025.

I’ve always thought of Qualcomm as one of Intel‘s biggest rivals, what with its dominance of the non-Apple mobile market and its increasing presence in the PC space. But as it turns out, the companies are teaming up in a major new partnership for the years to come: Intel will manufacture future Qualcomm chips.

Things can get a little confusing in the semiconductor world. while many companies design chips, not all of them actually manufacture their own hardware. Qualcomm, for instance, has had its Snapdragon processors made by both Samsung and TSMC. It’s a similar story for Apple.

While Intel has traditionally focused on making its own chips, it’s recently been expanding its foundry services to manufacture chips for other companies. Qualcomm will be among the first use Intel’s just-announced 20A process, scheduled to make its debut in 2024. In all, Intel says it plans to catch up to major competitors in the foundry space by 2025.

Intel 20A will include a new transistor architecture dubbed RibbonFET, updating the FinFET process Intel has been using since 2011, and promising major performance and efficiency improvements over the current generation of processors. RibbonFET will be Intel’s first gate-all-around transistor.

Qualcomm is the market leader in delivering chips for mobile devices, including integral baseband modems used in a vast majority of currently available smartphones. According to Reuters, Intel will apply a new chipmaking process called 20A to Qualcomm’s designs, enabling more power-efficient operation through novel transistor technology. The report fails to mention what components Intel will build for Qualcomm.

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