) has expanded its foundry partnership with
) to manufacture advanced multi-die devices. According to the
earlier agreement, Intel was to manufacture Altera's ARM-based
quad-core Stratix 10 processors, an advanced version of its FPGA
(Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) chips, using proprietary 14
nanometer (nm) trigate transistor technology.
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Now, it will also put together FPGAs and chipsets, also known as
systems-in-a-chip (SoCs), with elements like application-specific
integrated circuits (ASICs), processors, DRAM, SRAM and other
devices to produce a system-in-a-package.
An FPGA is a semiconductor programmable logic device (PLD) that
can be programmed by the customers/original equipment
manufacturers (OEM) after manufacturing. The flexible nature of
the FPGA is preferred by many customers over the low-cost,
The collaboration should be a positive for both parties, as long
as the process is not too delayed. Altera's rival Xilinx is going
with traditional manufacturer TSMC, which still lags Intel in
process technology. Intel and Altera are currently developing
experiment mediums to test streamlining, manufacturing and
assimilation flows. Once it takes off, Intel's advanced
manufacturing will facilitate the fabrication of highly
integrated, more powerful chips that also generate less heat at
lower costs. However, if Intel's own rollout is too delayed, this
advantage will be lost.
As far as Intel is concerned, this is a golden opportunity to
ramp production at its fabs and drive up utilization rates. Intel
has previously stated that its foundry partnerships are strategic
agreements, so there may be closer collaboration between the two
Intel is applying a number of strategies to increase its foothold
in mobile, wearables and Internet of Things (IoT). This will help
to reduce its dependence on the PC market, which is at present
suffering from declining sales worldwide. These are emerging
areas within the technology space with companies like
), Apple and Facebook among others trying to build a position.
Currently, Intel holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).