Intel Ventures Into Contract Manufacturing With Achronix

Intel said on Monday it is offering another chipmaker selective access to its 22-nm fabrication plants.

Privately-held semiconductor firm Achronix is planning to build "a future line of FPGA (field-programmable gate array) products" using Intel's 22-nanometer chip production process, Bill Kircos, director of product and technology media relations for Intel's Global Communications Group said in a blog post . Achronix is a minor player in the market for FPGA products.

Intel is making its first foray into the contract manufacturing business a public, open-ended matter and is looking to gauge reaction to its decision to open up its manufacturing doors to other companies.

"While we've done some contract manufacturing before, this is the first time on our latest process, 22 nanometers," Kircos said in an e-mail to CRN. "We are leaving the door open to adding more customers." Kirkos said the 22nm products are expected to be in production in the second half of 2011.

Sponsored post

The deal will require Intel give up less than one percent of its manufacturing capacity, according to Kircos. Still, the shift toward manufacturing chips for other companies represents a significant departure from Intel's current strategy of acquiring valuable intellectual property and protecting it while manufacturing its own chips.

NEXT: Intel's Adherence To Moore's Law

Intel is pursuing Moore's Law by seeking to build smaller, more power-efficient Atom and Xeon chips with added features including graphics every two years or so, according to the blog post. As Intel continues to meet specific product goals under its ambitious "I think this is only the beginning of Intel manufacturing for others," said Gus Richard, a microprocessor industry analyst with Piper Jaffray, according to The New York Times.