For years, Apple has secured the largest contingents for the production of its own iPhone, iPad and, more recently, Mac processors with each new generation of processes from the TSMC chip application manufacturer. From 2022, Intel will compete with Apple: According to a report, the company has secured a large piece of the 3-nanometer cake.
According to the asian news agency Nikkei Asia Intel wants to have at least two chip designs produced by TSMC with 3 nm technology from the end of 2022, which are intended for a server processor and a notebook CPU. Since Intel sometimes uses the same components for notebooks and desktop PCs, TSMC technology would also be conceivable in the latter.
Experience has shown that Apple is now converting the entire range of processors to the latest production technology – from the iPhone System-on-Chip (SoC) to the MacBook processor.
For the “client” market, Intel has already announced the Meteor Lake series, which will debut in 2023. Analogous to AMD’s Ryzen multi-core cores, these are processors consisting of several chips. Intel wants to manufacture the compute tile with the CPU cores in its own semiconductor factories with 7 nm structures – comparable to TSMC’s 5 nm technology. Other components could come from third parties. Cache modules are ideal because of their simple structures and small chip areas. Intel is already taking a similar path with the GPU accelerator Ponte Vecchio.
In the case of server processors, Intel is switching to the multi-chip structure with the next generation, Sapphire Rapids, but still with its own 10 nm technology. The manufacturer recently had to admit that the presentation will be delayed from 2021 to 2022. As a supplier, TSMC could help get the release cycles back on track.