updated 03:50 am EST, Fri December 31, 2010
Intel rumored to partner with TSMC
Intel is rumored to be planning to outsource the production of its Panther Point chipsets, according to a report. Industry sources are claiming that Intel plans to partner with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC), which will fabricate the Panther Point chipsets, which will be paired with Intel's Ivy Bridge processors. The move is aimed at reducing manufacturing costs in order to address AMD's competitively priced Fusion APU's (Accelerated Processing Units).
It is also claimed that in outsourcing the production of its next gen chipsets, Intel will be able to focus on producing advanced technology processes. The Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, due in the first quarter of 2012, are a 22nm die-shrunk version of Intel's 32nm Sandy Bridge processors. Notebooks featuring the Sandy Bridge architecture have recently begun to surface ahead of its formal unveiling at CES 2011.
Intel has been upgrading four plants in Oregon and Arizona, equipping them in order to fabricate the Ivy Bridge processors. However, instead of fabricating the matched chipsets itself, Intel was reportedly persuaded to outsource their production as TSMC has recently announced an additional US$5.9 billion investment in its infrastructure, making such a move feasible.