Intel to Delegate 3nm Intel Core 200V Processor Production to TSMC

Intel has opted to utilize TSMC’s custom 3nm process for its new Core Ultra processors, marking a strategic shift to leverage TSMC’s advanced manufacturing capabilities. This decision allows Intel to set ambitious goals and compete in multiple markets simultaneously, with the Lunar Lake and Arrow Lake series to be produced at TSMC facilities.

Recent months have seen insiders discussing revolutionary changes in the semiconductor market, with Intel at the forefront. The American company, which has lagged behind in recent years, is under new leadership determined to reclaim its former dominance and significantly boost profits. Intel plans to expand its presence in the cloud computing and AI training segments, with a new line of high-performance graphics chips aiming to challenge NVIDIA’s market position.

Currently, the Meteor Lake mobile architecture, which includes iGPU and SoC, is manufactured by TSMC, while Intel4 handles the computational chip. The next-generation mobile and desktop architectures (Lunar Lake and Arrow Lake) will see all components produced at TSMC’s factories. Intel’s own factories will handle only the final packaging. Lunar Lake-based laptops are expected to launch in the last quarter of this year, featuring new graphics chips and a neural processor (NPU) essential for AI algorithms. The Lunar Lake mobile architecture will comprise 4 large P-cores and 4 small E-cores, with insiders suggesting that the mobile Core Ultra 200V will be the most energy-efficient on the market, outperforming Zen 4 Phoenix and Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 by a significant margin.

This move indicates that a substantial portion of Arrow Lake processors will be produced at TSMC’s facilities, marking the first time in decades that Intel will outsource desktop processor production to a competitor. Meanwhile, AMD is set to release its next-generation processors slightly earlier, utilizing TSMC’s 4nm node. Experts predict that AMD’s products will be cheaper to produce but are expected to match Intel’s performance due to architectural advantages.

At Computex 2024, Intel confirmed that Lunar Lake chips will be released in the third quarter of this year, although they did not provide detailed specifications. These new chips are designed to meet Microsoft’s requirements for Copilot Plus PC systems.

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