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Question Taiwan Report: Intel has reached an agreement with TSMC

senttoschool

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Jan 30, 2010
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Mods: if this is true, it should deserve its own thread. If it's not true, please feel free to delete it.

https://m.hexus.net/business/news/components/144379-amd-intel-battle-tsmc-capacity-says-report/

Insiders talking to the Taiwanese newspaper have indicated the following:
  • Intel has reached an agreement with TSMC
  • TSMC will begin mass production of Intel CPUs and/or GPUs next year
  • Intel chips will be fabricated on TSMC's 7nm optimised version of its 6nm process. (I'm not sure if that means TSMC N7P, N7+, or N6.)
No details on the agreement has come out.

My personal predictions on an agreement:

TSMC sees this as an opportunity to force Intel out of the race for bleeding-edge nodes. TSMC will probably allow Intel to keep its 10nm and above nodes since those aren't a threat to them. TSMC may allow Intel to finish its 7nm nodes as well because let's be honest, Intel releasing its 7nm node in the year 2022/2023 is not a threat to TSMC. Intel will stop developing a node below 7nm after signing an agreement with TSMC. Over the next 5 years or so, Intel will sell off all of its existing fabs and become fabless. Intel has no leverage in this deal and TSMC will use this opportunity to completely remove Intel as a threat.

This is just pure speculation but I think Intel did negotiate with Samsung to use a partnership with Samsung as a leverage point in a deal with TSMC. But ultimately, Intel knows going with TSMC is guaranteed access to the best node. In addition, Intel knows signing with TSMC is a punch to Nvidia and two punches to AMD.
 
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senttoschool

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I have a hard time believing that Intel would shift their CPU production to TSMC at least for a couple more years, but I do think they will fab their Xe GPUs there.

Interesting times for sure!
Makes sense to start with their Xe GPUs first since Raja probably made it a point to design the GPU without coupling it with Intel's troubled nodes.

However, I fully expect Intel to manufacture their future high-performance CPUs at TSMC. The sooner, the better for Intel. Their CPUs are hurting the most and in the direst need to hop on a bleeding-edge node to stave off AMD's charge. Intel does not want Epyc and Ryzen to gain momentum for another 2 years.
 

Panino Manino

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Jan 28, 2017
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Personally, even being an "AMD fan", I see this as a bad thing. For me would be better if Intel had managed to fix it's fabs because, how can TSMC fab everything for everyone? They can't make in infinite quantity of chips, some products will need to wait in line.
 

vstar

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May 8, 2019
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Makes sense to start with their Xe GPUs first since Raja probably made it a point to design the GPU without coupling it with Intel's troubled nodes.

However, I fully expect Intel to manufacture their future high-performance CPUs at TSMC. The sooner, the better for Intel. Their CPUs are hurting the most and in the direst need to hop on a bleeding-edge node to stave off AMD's charge. Intel does not want Epyc and Ryzen to gain momentum for another 2 years.
I completely agree. To maintain competitiveness with an absolutely resurgent AMD, they need to get their CPUs on better nodes. If I were to take a guess, they might start utilizing TSMC for Granite Rapids. Possibly even SPR as they have a contractual obligation to have things ready for Aurora by 2021.

If those numbers are true there's no way it's just for Xe.
That's a good point. That could mean they will get Sapphire rapids fabbed through TSMC.
 

NeoLuxembourg

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Oct 10, 2013
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Personally, even being an "AMD fan", I see this as a bad thing. For me would be better if Intel had managed to fix it's fabs because, how can TSMC fab everything for everyone? They can't make in infinite quantity of chips, some products will need to wait in line.
They could buy some Intel fabs (those that have the ASML machines) and start producing wafers in the US ... oh wait.
 

AnandThenMan

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Nov 11, 2004
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If this happens it will do incalculable damage to consumers. Intel will bully and buy its way to as much capacity as possible, bully their way into getting exclusive access to the latest nodes. In other words business as usual for Intel but this time they will have effective control of the silicon farm everyone wants to use.
 
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CentroX

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Apr 3, 2016
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If this happens it will do incalculable damage to consumers. Intel will bully and buy its way to as much capacity as possible, bully their way into getting exclusive access to the latest nodes. In other words business as usual for Intel but this time they will have effective control of the silicon farm everyone wants to use.
Theyre trying same guerilla tactics they did towards AMD 15 years ago.

This is bad news if it means AMD wont be able to compete again.
 

AnandThenMan

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Nov 11, 2004
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Theyre trying same guerilla tactics they did towards AMD 15 years ago.
Of course they are that's how Intel rolls. And hey it works why change?
This is bad news if it means AMD wont be able to compete again.
Intel's goal has always been to make sure AMD never reaches critical mass (they've flat out said this). Intel is very afraid of competing fairly.
 
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maddie

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Jul 18, 2010
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If this happens it will do incalculable damage to consumers. Intel will bully and buy its way to as much capacity as possible, bully their way into getting exclusive access to the latest nodes. In other words business as usual for Intel but this time they will have effective control of the silicon farm everyone wants to use.
You really think TSMC will allow the very clients that have helped them grow quickly will be discarded so easily?

If this happens then TSMC is both the best from a technology perspective and also the dumbest from a strategic angle, so no, I don't think Intel will be able to force this.
 

Elfear

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May 30, 2004
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If this happens it will do incalculable damage to consumers. Intel will bully and buy its way to as much capacity as possible, bully their way into getting exclusive access to the latest nodes. In other words business as usual for Intel but this time they will have effective control of the silicon farm everyone wants to use.
That's what I'm worried about as well. Intel has MUCH more cash to throw around than AMD to buy up fab capacity. I hope this doesn't hurt consumers in the end.
 

AnandThenMan

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Nov 11, 2004
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You really think TSMC will allow the very clients that have helped them grow quickly will be discarded so easily?
Intel can give them 10x the volume and over pay for it. Vastly over pay, which Intel can easily do they have money falling out of their pockets.
If this happens then TSMC is both the best from a technology perspective and also the dumbest from a strategic angle, so no, I don't think Intel will be able to force this.
We'll see. Money talks very loudly.
 

Spartak

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Jul 4, 2015
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Mods: if this is true, it should deserve its own thread. If it's not true, please feel free to delete it.

https://m.hexus.net/business/news/components/144379-amd-intel-battle-tsmc-capacity-says-report/

Insiders talking to the Taiwanese newspaper have indicated the following:
  • Intel has reached an agreement with TSMC
  • TSMC will begin mass production of Intel CPUs and/or GPUs next year
  • Intel chips will be fabricated on TSMC's 7nm optimised version of its 6nm process. (I'm not sure if that means TSMC N7P, N7+, or N6.)
I don't understand why it's the 6/7nm process they are buying in? It's performance is similar to Intel's 10nm, so they'd have to put in a lot of design effort for a process similar to theirs. I can't see TSMC's process hitting the 5+GHz mark for Intel judging by AMD's chips, so I really don't see the point in this.

For 5nm and beyond I can definately see why as those would be the alternative to their own 7nm process that's stalling.
 

Spartak

Senior member
Jul 4, 2015
340
259
136
If this happens it will do incalculable damage to consumers. Intel will bully and buy its way to as much capacity as possible, bully their way into getting exclusive access to the latest nodes. In other words business as usual for Intel but this time they will have effective control of the silicon farm everyone wants to use.
Apple has more financial clout and is known for playing hardball, so Intel would still play second fiddle at best.
 

maddie

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Jul 18, 2010
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I don't understand why it's the 6/7nm process they are buying in? It's performance is similar to Intel's 10nm, so they'd have to put in a lot of design effort for a process similar to theirs. I can't see TSMC's process hitting the 5+GHz mark for Intel judging by AMD's chips, so I really don't see the point in this.

For 5nm and beyond I can definately see why as those would be the alternative to their own 7nm process that's stalling.
At which point the leading clients at TSMC will be migrating or have already migrated to 5nm. This alone contradicts the belief that Intel will monopolize leading edge nodes.
 

AnandThenMan

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Nov 11, 2004
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I'm fairly certain that TSMC doesn't think as short term as you believe.
I certainly hope you're right. But think about it, Intel can toss a wrench directly into the heart of AMD by taking away their foundry capacity. That is one tempting play, and Intel has proven consistently they have zero ethics.
 
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CentroX

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Apr 3, 2016
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Of course they are that's how Intel rolls. And hey it works why change?

Intel's goal has always been to make sure AMD never reaches critical mass (they've flat out said this). Intel is very afraid of competing fairly.
Well said.

Intel just wont let AMD hit their stride. This is bad news for us all.
 

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