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Intel CEO Misinformed on the Foundry Business

Intel CEO Misinformed on the Foundry Business
by Daniel Nenni on 09-09-2014 at 7:00 am

 At the Citi Global Technology Conference last week Intel (INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich made some comments about the foundry business that I found quite misinformed. It will be interesting to see if this theme is repeated during the foundry presentations at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week:

Intel is presenting two semiconductor manufacturing-focused sessions at the upcoming Intel Developer Forum that you may be interested in attending. By now you should have received instructions for complementary Intel Developer Forum registration, but please contact me if you have not and would like to attend IDF.

Leading at the Edge of Moore’s Law with Intel Custom Foundry
Speaker:Sunit Rikhi, Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group, General Manager, Intel Custom Foundry
Date/Time: Wed, Sept 10[SUP]th[/SUP], 4:00pm-5:00pm
Session Code: SPCS011
This session will provide an overview of Intel Custom Foundry’s capabilities and services covering a wide range of offerings including our silicon technologies, design platforms, manufacturing services including packaging, assembly and test capabilities. We will show you how Intel is unlocking the value of its Moore’s law leadership and its Integrated Device Manufacturing (IDM) strengths for the customers of Intel Custom Foundry. Topics include:foundry silicon technology offerings, design platform enablement, packaging and assembly, post silicon and manufacturing services, and eco-system capabilities.

Also Read: Intel Custom Foundry Explained!

Technology Insight: 14nm Process Technology – Opening New Horizons
Speaker: Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Director, Process Architecture and Integration
Date/Time: Wed, Sept 10[SUP]th[/SUP], 2:30-3:30pm
Session Code: SPCS010
Topics in this Technology Insight include:
• Transistor and interconnect features on Intel’s 14 nm process technology are described that provide industry-leading performance, power and density capabilities
• The 14 nm generation continues Moore’s Law in providing lower cost-per-transistor
• The 14 nm technology offers a rich mix-and-match feature set that enables a broad range of products from high performance server to low power mobile products
• 14 nm is Intel’s newest foundry technology offering, supported with a wide range of design tools

You can find the full IDF agenda here. I hope to see you at these sessions!

This is the misinformed quote I mentioned above:

“The relationship between the architecture and design guys and the silicon is important, because we really work together. This is the integrated device manufacturing advantage. We’re able to work together at a very early stage with a mutual target that says on this day we’ve got to have a product that has this cost and both sides have to bring this together to deliver that.

I think that’s the uniqueness that Intel has that makes it a little bit more difficult on the outside world. They kind of are handing something over a wall so to speak. And it’s just not quite as simple an integration.”

This is absolute nonsense. Handing things over the foundry wall stopped a long time ago. The fabless semiconductor ecosystem is today fully integrated into the foundry process development cycle, absolutely. This “early access” includes the top fabless semiconductor companies, EDA tool vendors, and IP companies. Look at how many of these companies have design and development centers in Asia. Do a quick LinkedIn search for ARM employees in Taiwan for example. Now try Synopsys and Qualcomm. Don’t bother with MediaTek because they are right across the street from UMC and TSMC. Hopefully this is just BK pandering to Wall Street because fabless semiconductor professionals certainly know better. Next time I hope an analyst asks BK what kind of early access Intel foundry customers have. :p

Also Read: What Does Intel Look Like 10 Years From Now?


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