Intel Will Open Foundries to ARM

SAN FRANCISCO—Intel has long been known for the chips that bear its branding, but at this year's Intel Developer Forum (IDF), the company announced plans to give other manufacturers a crack at more easily using Intel technology in their products–and taking a bolder stand against competing processes from Samsung and TSMC in the foundry space.

Through a new agreement between Intel Custom Foundry and ARM, Intel will provide 10nm physical IP as part of the ARM Artisan platform, thus making it the new de facto industry standard for physical IP and giving ARM's customers an additional choice when selecting a foundry for crafting 10nm-based products.

The ARM Artisan platform is based on current advanced ARM cores and Cortex-series processors, and includes high-performance and high-density logic libraries, memory compilers, and core-optimized (POP) IP for designing future ARM mobile cores.

"The value of POP technology for an ARM core on the Intel 10nm process is tremendous, as it will allow for quicker knowledge transfer, enabling customers to lower their risk in implementing the most advanced ARM cores on Intel's leading-edge process technology," ARM's Will Abbey wrote in a statement. Additionally, POP technology enables silicon partners to accelerate the implementation and tape-outs of their ARM-based designs.

"Having leading IP providers in our portfolio will accelerate ecosystem readiness while providing greater flexibility and time-to-market advantages to our customers," Zane Ball, vice president of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group and co-general manager of Intel Custom Foundry, wrote in a statement.

So far, Intel has only announced that LG is slated to produce a platform using the 10nm technology. But although few other details have yet been provided as to the nature of the Intel-ARM collaboration, this move is certain to increase and extend Intel's involvement in the mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) spaces, where it has had difficulty making an impact in recent years.

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