Intel’s Battle for Semiconductor Supremacy: Manufacturing the 1.8 nm 64-core ARM Neoverse SoC for Faraday

Intel’s Battle for Semiconductor Supremacy: Manufacturing the 1.8 nm 64-core ARM Neoverse SoC for Faraday

In the fiercely competitive world of semiconductor manufacturing, Intel has set its sights on becoming the second largest player in the global market. With its ambitious IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel aims not only to meet its own needs but also to expand its customer base and establish itself as a leading manufacturer of integrated circuits for third-party companies.

To achieve this goal, Intel is making significant investments to expand and strengthen its manufacturing, packaging, assembly, and verification facilities across the United States, Israel, Germany, Ireland, and Poland.

Intel’s Vision of Semiconductor Supremacy

Under the leadership of CEO Pat Gelsinger, Intel is determined to consolidate its position as the second largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world. While catching up to TSMC, with its approximate 55% market share (compared to Intel’s 17-20%), may seem like a daunting task, Intel is committed to competing head-to-head with its Taiwanese counterpart.

To achieve this, Intel is leveraging cutting-edge integration technologies to propel its manufacturing capabilities to the forefront of the industry.

Faraday’s Trust in Intel’s Lithography

Faraday Technology, a Taiwanese company specializing in integrated circuit design, has partnered with Intel to produce its new 64-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) based on the ARM Neoverse microarchitecture.

Designed for data center servers, this chip will be manufactured using Intel’s 18A lithography process (1.8 nm), featuring the latest GAA RibbonFET transistors and PowerVia interconnect architecture. Intel plans to commence chip production on the 18A node during the second half of 2024, indicating that Faraday’s SoC production could begin even before the year is over.

Faraday is not the only company to have embraced Intel’s new integration technologies. Ericsson, for example, has chosen Intel’s 4-nanometer node to manufacture its upcoming server processors, while the United States Department of Defense has entrusted Intel with fabricating chips on its 18A node for military applications.

Even industry giants like Amazon and Qualcomm are currently in negotiations with Intel regarding potential partnerships for semiconductor manufacturing. It is clear that Intel is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to compete with TSMC and Samsung.

The Road to 1.8 nm

Intel’s RibbonFET transistors and PowerVia interconnect technology are not mere one-off innovations; they are key components of Intel’s future lithography processes. Intel’s official roadmap reveals its intention to be ready for integrated circuit manufacturing on the 18A node by the second half of 2024.

This timeline suggests that Intel’s production capabilities will be in place well before Faraday’s SoC production begins.

Implications for the Semiconductor Industry

Intel’s aggressive push to challenge TSMC’s dominance represents a significant development in the semiconductor industry. As a major player with a long-standing reputation, Intel’s success in this endeavor could reshape the competitive landscape.

By offering advanced manufacturing services, Intel aims to not only solidify its position but also provide a viable alternative to TSMC and Samsung for companies seeking semiconductor fabrication.

Conclusion

Intel’s determination to become the second largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world is evident in its IDM 2.0 strategy and extensive investments in manufacturing capabilities. With partnerships with companies like Faraday and the interest of major players like Amazon and Qualcomm, Intel is positioning itself as a formidable competitor to TSMC and Samsung.

As the battle for semiconductor supremacy unfolds, it remains to be seen if Intel’s technological advancements and strategic partnerships will enable it to realize its vision of becoming a leading player in the industry.