At the company’s “Engineering the Future” announcement today, Gelsinger announced plans to outsource more of Intel’s chip production to third-party foundries; a $20 billion investment into two new fabs in Arizona; and a new branch of the company called Intel Foundry Services, which will see Intel’s foundries produce chips for other companies.
Intel has had an awful decade, having missed out on smartphone chips and having stalled out at their 14nm process for years. Still, it is a strategically important company for my country, and I have to ill will toward it, even if I don’t prefer their products right now. I would love to see them become competitive again.
The idea of Intel fabbing chips for other companies is a big deal. Intel has never done that before. It seems to me like it could be the first step of spinning off that part of the business into its own company, and focusing on process shrinks in ways that the fully integrated Intel could not before.