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Intel could overhaul its entire business and production model by outsourcing its most high-end chips to Asian partners, the local news daily OregonLive.com detailed in a lengthy article.

Farewell to Oregon?

A strategy that could turn the role of its industrial sites in Oregon upside down in the long term. If Intel’s headquarters are in Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, a huge part of its activity is in this state in the northwest of the United States, which concentrates almost 20% of the workforce of the American semi-conductor giant (21 000 out of 110,000 employees in Intel in 2019).

Oregon factories have a special role in Intel’s business because they are the state-of-the-art. Thus, it is in Oregon that Intel is implementing the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) workflow, which should replace the current process. The problem is that the various research and development concerns of the teams located in this state have caused Intel to lose the crown of the king of circuit miniaturization to TSMC and Samsung. A benefit that OregonLive considers potentially lost ” forever “.

Outsource to stay ahead and refocus

Faced with the explosion in demand for certain chips, production concerns on the one hand, and the transformation of Intel’s business – which is now developing GPUs for data centers for example – It seems necessary to go through a subcontractor for the production of certain advanced components.
This could revolutionize the operating scheme of Intel, which is unique in the world since the giant controls both its ISA (the x86), the development of its processors and other SoCs and cutting-edge production.

According to analysts quoted by OregonLive.com, if Oregon is to remain Intel’s “production” core technology core, outsourcing in advanced burning should force Intel to change its model. It could consist, for example, in concentrating on the assembly of heterogeneous SoCs (disaggregated architecture, in Intel’s jargon) such as Lakefield, a multi-layered chip that integrates 22nm, 14nm and 10nm elements. In short, to become an advanced “Lego” champion.

Aware of the challenges the company faces – the rise of ARM (and its acquisition by Nvidia), production leadership now between South Korea and Taiwan – the company announced to communicate on its transformation roadmap next January, Intel CEO Bob Swan clarifying that ” we will evaluate all the possibilities in terms of production “.

Source : OregonLive.com





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