WTF: Intel Fabs To Make Quad-Core 64-bit ARM Processors

Intel will be fabricating ARM processors for Altera starting in 2014! Intel’s largest chip manufacturing customer is Altera and they have signed a deal with Intel for them to produce their upcoming  Stratix 10 SoC using ARM technology on Intel’s advanced 14nm Tri-Gate process. The Stratix 10 SoC is the first quad-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU to be manufactured by anyone.

“Altera and Intel are pleased with the early results of the relationship between the companies and this announcement from Altera is consistent with the agreement we announced earlier this year. We have said that we will be open to manufacturing competitive architectures and would evaluate them on a case by case basis,” said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

This is an interesting move as Intel’s Atom processors compete directly against ARM-based chips like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and NVIDIA’s Tegra product lines. Intel will now be making the processors that they are competing against! From the sounds of it, Intel’s fabs are not running at full capacity and they are able to sell the fab time to those that want it in order to make more revenue. Intel’s has the most advanced fabs in the business that are years ahead of Samsung, TSMC and Global Foundries. At the end of the day ARM is a major competitor for Intel in the mobile market and now they are making ARM processors for customers!