Why Intel Partners with TSMC

Intel Announces Strategy in Partnership with TSMC

🟩Sourcing cutting-edge products from TSMC

Intel has revealed plans to adopt state-of-the-art 5nm semiconductor technology from TSMC, the largest semiconductor foundry. The application is called “Ponte Vecchio”, an SoC that is expected to be installed in a supercomputer built for the US Department of Energy.

Fabless companies such as AMD and Nvidia are actively procuring TSMC’s cutting-edge semiconductors to enhance their product capabilities. On the other hand, Intel is sticking to its own production, and in recent years it has been fiercely pursued by both companies. It is unusual for Intel to announce the procurement of cutting-edge products from rival TSMC.

🟩 Delays in the development of our own 7nm process

TSMC is leading the way in advanced semiconductor development, and competition is progressing ahead of Samsung Electronics and Intel. Intel has lagged behind in advanced development of its own 7nm process (TSMC’s 5nm equivalent) and buys time by sourcing externally from TSMC.

The Ponte Vecchio SoC was originally planned to be manufactured using its own 7nm process, but the company has previously announced that it will change its policy to use external process rules manufacturing as well as its own process. The announcement revealed that TSMC is the partner for the external process.

🟩 SoC for supercomputers “Ponte Vecchio”

“Ponte Vecchio” is a chiplet SoC packaged and assembled by Intel. The 5nm semiconductor dies, which Intel describes as tiles, will be procured from TSMC. 7nm means using Intel’s own tiles.

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🟩 Gaming GPU “Alchemist”

It was also announced at the same time that the first product of Intel’s recently announced Intel Arc discrete GPU will be manufactured on TSMC’s 6nm process.


Intel procures state-of-the-art processes from TSMC due to delays in the development of its own processes

Partnering with TSMC is part of its IDM 2.0 strategy, and Intel’s once vertically integrated business is definitely changing.

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