Intel CPU shortages still real, select low-power chips could be offloaded to GlobalFoundries
Despite yet another record breaking quarter (i.e. 4Q 2019) for Intel, the company is still not out of the woods when it comes to CPU shortages. Of course Intel is breaking record after record, as the chip giant is pushing its production lines to their limits and beyond each quarter in order to meet the ever-growing demand, which apparently was gravely underestimated a few years ago. Not to mention that Intel has to manage the launch of discrete GPUs and the transition to 10 nm nodes this year, while fab capacity is supposed to increase by 25%, and AMD is not slowing down any time soon either. Some months ago, there were rumors regarding the outsourcing of select Intel CPU lineups to Samsung’s foundries, and now, unnamed industry insiders close to WCCFTech claim that Intel may also offload low-power CPU production to GlobalFoundries.
An Intel - GloFo collaboration is not that far-fetched, if we really think about it. Apart from Intel, GloFo is the only major foundry that did not transition to 7 nm nodes as of yet, focusing solely on 14 nm and 12 nm. Moreover, GloFo has most of its facilities located in the U.S., eliminating all the U.S.-China trade war complications. Intel may still be the world’s leading chip producer, but its resources are limited nonetheless, so outsourcing to other foundries could really help the company deal with the growing demand for mid-range and high-end CPU models. In this regard, WCCFTech’s sources inform that GloFo may help with the production of Celeron and Pentium chips that do not necessitate extra-refined 14 nm+++ nodes. Core i3 chips are also considered for possible outsourcing, but the production process is more complicated for these models and Intel may not want to share too many production patents.
WCCFTech’s sources also inform that Intel could tap TSMC’s facilities for its upcoming 10 nm high-end discrete GPU that are expected to launch after this year’s Xe DG1 and this should greatly help with the 10 nm transition that is not going too well currently. We will see exactly how these outsourcing efforts can make a difference, and hopefully Intel can stabilize production by early 2021.