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Intel confirms TSMC Atom collaboration

by Scott Bicheno on 2 March 2009, 17:14


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Mutual understanding

Intel's strategic collaboration with TSMC is designed to allow both companies access to markets they wouldn't otherwise have. This was the theme of a press conference confirming the arrangement and involves TSMC manufacturing products using Intel's Atom processor, as we predicted earlier.

The announcement featured Intel's top sales and marketing exec Sean Maloney and ultra-mobility boss Anand Chandrasekher. TSMC's Rick Tsai and Jason Chen were also in attendance and due to them all apparently using the same speakerphone it was at times hard to hear what they were saying.

The long and short of it however, according to Maloney, was that this move is designed to give Intel instant access to markets it wouldn't otherwise have had, thanks to TSMC's IP (intellectual property) and commercial ecosystem.

These markets are primarily System-on-Chip (SoC) and embedded applications. In other words those that are currently dominated by technologies designed by UK semiconductor outfit ARM.

TSMC will not be manufacturing Atom by itself - Intel will continue to do that - it will specialise in SoC applications of Atom.