Intel Foundry Services Wins Big Deal To Manufacture Chips For MediaTek

Intel engineer
Intel and MediaTek are taking their business relationship to the next level by forming a strategic chip making partnership. In an effort to diversify things on the manufacturing side, MediaTek is tapping Intel Foundry Services (IFS) to produce multiple chips for a range of smart edge devices using advanced process technologies.

This is a major win for Intel and its CEO Pat Gelsinger, who since taking helm, has been on a mission to put the company back on track in terms of leadership in its fab process technologies and innovation. Key to that effort was the revitalization of IFS last year. Gelsinger put Dr. Randhir Thakur in charge, who answers directly to the CEO.

"As one of the world’s leading fabless chip designers powering more than 2 billion devices a year, MediaTek is a terrific partner for IFS as we enter our next phase of growth," Thakur said in a statement. "We have the right combination of advanced process technology and geographically diverse capacity to help MediaTek deliver the next billion connected devices across a range of applications."

MediaTek chips on a blue background
MediaTek is a fabless chip designer just like AMD and NVIDIA, meaning it develops and sets out the blueprints for its semiconductors and contracts third parties to produce the actual silicon. The company ranked as the fourth largest chip designer last year.

Its main source for chips is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). However, MediaTek has avoided putting all of its semiconductor eggs in one basket and sees Intel as a logical partner to spread out its supply chain. NS Tsai, corporate vice present of Platform Technology and Manufacturing Operations at MediaTek, indicated this is a "long-term partnership."

This is a big deal considering that MediaTek, which is headquartered in Taiwan, is a major partner with TSMC. It shows an important level of faith in Intel's foundry efforts. According to reports, MediaTek will be using the Intel 16 process node, essentially a 16nm enhanced version of of what Intel previously referred to as 22FFL (22nm FinFET Low Power).

Financial terms of the IFS chip deal have not been disclosed, though Intel and MediaTek expect tapeouts to occur this year, followed by volume production in 2023.