updated 09:55 am EST, Mon March 2, 2009
Intel and TSMC Deal Soon
The Taipei Times today claims today that Intel is poised to begin a rare outsourcing of manufacturing for its technology. The semiconductor company will announce later today that it will start handing off some production from its own factories to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in an attempt to trim costs. Which parts are specifically involved aren't known, though the plans are believed related to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and may include both the Atom processors needed for this class of handheld as well as the NAND flash memory that serves as their permanent storage.
Intel has long stressed the pricing of MIDs as an important component and expects a typical device to cost as little as $150 to $200, creating pressure to drop the costs of core parts. TSMC is often used to build chipsets for companies that can't afford or justify manufacturing most or any hardware themselves, such as graphics hardware designers like AMD's ATI division and NVIDIA.
If Atom processors are outsourced, the move also has a potential impact on netbooks and nettops, both of which have tight profit margins and can potentially decrease in price or add features just through less expensive processors.