Intel is in talks with TSMC and Samsung to produce some of the company’s chips.
Intel has fallen on hard times of late. Once the undisputed leader of the semiconductor industry, the company has struggled to keep up with demand, has been plagued with security issues, lost one of its most high-profile customers, seen an exodus of its top chip engineers and experienced difficulties moving to 7nm processors.
Intel’s troubles have led the company to consider outsourcing production of its chips to outside companies, something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. In October, CEO Bob Swan said the company was looking at outsourcing and would make a decision in the next couple of months.
According to Bloomberg Intel is now in talks with both TSMC and Samsung to outsource its production to them. The talks with Samsung, whose abilities still lag behind TSMC, are described as preliminary.
It’s unclear how much business TSMC could take on. TSMC is the company Apple outsources production of its custom silicon, now used in iPhones, iPads and Macs. As a result, reports indicate that Apple has already booked some 80% of TSMC’s 5nm production, raising questions about how much of Intel’s business TSMC could absorb.
While Intel is still holding out hope it will be able to turn things around and keep production in-house, it’s an amazing fall for one of the titans of the semiconductor business.