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Intel joins hands with Softbank-owned ARM Technologies to accelerate foundry business growth

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It is a known fact that Intel largely failed to capture the growth period of smartphones. With smartphone market experiencing a saturation and global slowdown, the chip maker is trying to mitigate the damage. It has joined hands with the rival chip maker ARM Technologies(now owned by SoftBank) to use ARM’s advanced processors in its most powerful 10-nanometer production lines.

Intel plans to offer these facilities to other chip makers for making complex chips used in smartphones. Intel has been offering its foundry services to third-party companies to manufacture smartphone chips for quite some time now. However, the initiative has so far received a lacklustre response.

Now, ARM is a leader in the segment when it comes to mobile computing chips. By powering these facilities with ARM’s technology, Intel wants those companies to use its facility to make their smartphone chips.

These companies can now get access to the most advanced ARM cores and Cortex series processors while using the 10nm design platform. Both chipmakers revealed their agreement at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Talking about the use of ARM’s technology in Intel foundry service, Jane Ball, co-general manager of Intel Custom Foundry, wrote in an editorial,

Optimizing this technology for Intel’s 10 nm process means that foundry customers can take advantage of the IP to achieve best-in-class PPA (power, performance, area) for power-efficient, high-performance implementations of their designs for mobile, IoT and other consumer applications.

Moreover, the company believes that with increasing growth of connected devices and data traffic, there is more opportunity for its foundry business. It can help other companies to make use of Intel’s technology and manufacturing assets to build high-powered chips for devices.

The company has already got a few new customers for its foundry platform. It revealed that LG Electronics will be using this facility to manufacture 10-nanometer mobile-phone parts. The recently acquired Altera is also using Intel foundry platform to build the first true 14 nm FPGA, which offers unprecedented advances in PPA.

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