Microsoft’s Collaboration with Intel for Custom Chip Manufacturing

Intel’s Foundry division, previously known as Intel Foundry Services, has recently secured an order from Microsoft for the production of an upcoming custom chip. The chip will be designed using Intel’s latest 18A (1.8nm) fabrication process. While the specifics of the silicon chip were not disclosed, it is speculated that this collaboration may lead to the development of the next-generation Cobalt CPU for Microsoft’s Azure services.

In addition to the usual efficiency improvements as the node size decreases, Intel’s 18A process offers the industry’s first backside power solution, enabling improved voltage regulation, lower resistance, faster logic, and lower power consumption, especially in 3D stacking applications.

According to reports, the 18A process is expected to achieve manufacturing readiness in the second half of 2024, with the corresponding processors, such as “Clearwater Forest” and “Panther Lake,” anticipated to arrive in 2025. Intel also outlined its extended process technology roadmap, including the development of a new 14A (1.4nm) node enabled by ASML’s “High-NA EUV” lithography system. This leap may aid Intel in catching up after its late EUV adoption for its Intel 4 (7nm) node, although risk production won’t take place until the end of 2026.

Intel’s Foundry division, under the leadership of CEO Pat Gelsinger, aims to compete with industry leaders like TSMC and Samsung in the contract chip-making market. Before Microsoft, Intel Foundry’s clients already included MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Amazon. The company aspires to become the second largest external foundry by 2030 in terms of manufacturing revenue, with this goal potentially being achievable as early as this year.

This collaboration signifies an expansion of Intel’s efforts to establish itself as a viable option for custom chip manufacturing, while Microsoft continues to advance its in-house chip design capabilities.

Share it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

🤞 Don’t miss these tips!

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin