Intel graphics chip will leverage new version of TSMC 7-nanometer process
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Intel Corp plans to use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to make a second-generation discrete graphics chip for personal computers that it hopes will help it fight the rise of Nvidia Corp, have two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The chip, known as “DG2”, will be manufactured in a new chip-making process at TSMC that has yet to be officially named but is an improved version of its 7-nanometer process, the two said. people familiar with the matter.
Intel, long the world leader in chip manufacturing technology, has lost its manufacturing advantage in recent years and is now wondering whether to outsource some of its flagship CPU chips, or processors, to scheduled for release in 2023.
Last month, activist investor Third Point LLC sent a letter to Intel’s board of directors asking it to consider keeping its chip design and manufacturing operations under one roof.
Intel has long outsourced chips other than its flagship processors and is a major customer of TSMC, the world’s largest manufacturer of contract chips. The head of Intel’s autonomous driving subsidiary, Mobileye, told Reuters last month that its next autonomous vehicle processor will continue to be manufactured by TSMC on its 7-nanometer process.
With its graphics chips, Intel is looking to tap into the booming PC gaming market. Its DG2 chip is expected to release later this year or early 2022 and compete with Nvidia and AMD gaming chips that cost between $ 400 and $ 600, the sources said.
The chip-making technology for the DG2 is expected to be more advanced than Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s 8-nanometer process used in Nvidia’s latest series of graphics chips launched in the fall, people said. They added that it would also be a step ahead of Advanced Micro Devices graphics chips made using TSMC’s 7 nanometer process.
Intel declined to comment and TSMC said it does not comment on individual customers.
Last year, Intel officials said they would outsource the DG2 chip, but did not say which chipmaker won the deal or what chipmaking process it would use.
(Correct the date in the date line)
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Jane Wardell)