During a recent webcast, new CEO Pat Gelsinger announced the setting up of a new Intel Foundry Services (IFS) division, which will drive Intel’s efforts to manufacture chips for other commercial customers. The new division, which will develop x86, Arm, and RISC-V core chips for external clients has reportedly already partnered with the likes of IBM, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Google.
Surprisingly, Intel also hopes to use IFS to court its former ally Apple, shared Gelsinger.
Intel and Apple haven’t been at the best of terms after the latter decided to design its own silicon ending a 15 year dependence on Intel.
However, in the webcast Gelsinger made the unexpected remark about having Apple as a customer of its new foundry business.
Apple currently only uses the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce all of its Apple silicon chips used in the Macbooks, and the A-series used in the iPhone, iPad, and other devices.
Interestingly, speaking to the BBC, Gelsinger also added another dimension to his pitch to Apple.
“Having 80% of all supply in Asia simply isn’t a palatable manner for the world to have its view of the most critical technology,” said Gelsinger referring to Taiwan-based TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung towering over the others when it comes to manufacturing semiconductors.
Gelsinger said he wants to use IFS to correct this Asian-bias and asserts this involves approaching Apple, which he argues is “one of the biggest users of advanced semiconductor capabilities.”