The exciting news is that Intel landed their first big SoC customer with Panasonic’s System LSI Business Division. These 14nm SoCs will be targeted to audio visual equipment markets. The significance here to me is that Intel not only has a big SoC customer, Intel now has a non-Silicon Valley based foundry customer. It is critical for a foundry to be able to operate world-wide and Japan, as a country, is an important market as they are leading the transition from IDM to the fabless business model.
Sunit Rikhi presented at SEMICON West today, Intel made the slides available (HERE) and I do greatly appreciate the transparency. They are an interesting read and I highly recommend you browse them. Before the presentation Sunit asked for a copy of “Fabless: The Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry” which I happily gave him with a custom inscription. Hopefully we can meet again and discuss the book in more detail. The better Intel understands the dynamics of the fabless semiconductor ecosystem the better the return on investment they will get and the more investment they will make, for the greater good, right?
Out of the 42 slides, here are my 6 favorite:
All in all it was a good presentation, absolutely. Intel is now in a quiet period for the Q2 2014 conference call so more detailed information was not available. The most interesting piece of information that I gleaned from this presentation is that Intel started 22nm CUSTOMER shuttles in 2011, 14nm in 2013, and 10nm will start in 2015 (slide #11). This means, according to my calculations, Intel 22nm was 2 years ahead of TSMC 20nm, Intel 14nm is less than 1 year ahead of TSMC and Samsung, and 10nm will be too close to call.