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Analyst: Intel in Talks to Build ARM Chips for Apple

By - Source: Fortune | B 37 comments

RBC Capital analyst Doug Freedman stated that Intel may soon be building ARM processors for Apple.

Intel is reportedly in talks with Apple to take over Samsung's role to manufacture iPad and iPhone processors. Even if Apple is not using Intel's x86 CPUs in its mobile products, it would be an attractive deal for Intel to fill the capacity in its own fabs and take away business from its most significant chip manufacturing rival in the market.

Such a relationship could build on the existing product relationship between Intel and Apple, in which Intel has earned Apple's trust as a reliable processor supplier. While it would be a big step for Intel to support the production of ARM processors, Intel has recently expanded its options as a foundry by agreeing to build chips for Netronome, Tabula and Achronix. The addition of Apple's processors would add more than 100 million processor units per year to Intel's output.

According to Freedman, Apple's demand could reach 415,000 12-inch wafers, each generating revenue of about $5,000. It's unlikely that Intel would turn down a $2 billion per year business opportunity.


 

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  • 20 Hide
    tanjali , December 3, 2012 2:08 PM
    Intel, Can you beat Samsung prices?
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    tanjali , December 3, 2012 2:08 PM
    Intel, Can you beat Samsung prices?
  • 8 Hide
    fuzzion , December 3, 2012 2:08 PM
    Assume 4k per wafer, thats 415k x 4k = 1,660,000,000 chips. Thats a lot of chips
  • 6 Hide
    Marco925 , December 3, 2012 2:14 PM
    I want to see removable and user replaceable ARM CPUs

    tanjaliIntel, Can you beat Samsung prices?


    Intel would either give up on this market because they know they can't charge $10000 for the intel iArm due to competition, or will attempt to be anticompetitive to push whoever they can out and then buy ARM.
  • 5 Hide
    shafe88 , December 3, 2012 2:19 PM
    tanjaliIntel, Can you beat Samsung prices?

    Samsung, Can your beat Intel fab process. If Intel uses the same 22nm precess they use for their own processors this could mean 1 of two things, more chips per wafer for greater profit or more cores per chip for greater performance.
  • 7 Hide
    friskiest , December 3, 2012 2:19 PM
    fuzzionAssume 4k per wafer, thats 415k x 4k = 1,660,000,000 chips. Thats a lot of chips


    But not all of them would make it past to QC,. the yield rate of high density chips is actually low,. somewhat related, I could still remember the 2% yield rate of the first FERMI batch.
  • 1 Hide
    shafe88 , December 3, 2012 2:26 PM
    mforce2I maybe AMD should go ask nicely and Intel will produce chips for them too ) Even better judging by how AMD has built Bulldozer they should probably have Intel design the chips for them too Oh well... Btw I like AMD and have an Phenom II X6 which is not that bad

    Now why would AMD want Intel to produce or design their chips. If Intel did produce or design AMD's chips they would either charge AMD a lot for production or purposely design the AMD chips to be slower. It would be kinda funny buying and AMD apu with Intel graphics.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 3, 2012 2:35 PM
    Intel would MANUFACTURER the ARM chips, building them would imply design work and intel got themselves out of the ARM design market quite a while ago.
  • -4 Hide
    bllue , December 3, 2012 2:49 PM
    More expensive iCrap inc
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 3:17 PM
    Intel reverse engineering Apple custom ARM designs! Don't do it Apple, build your own chip fabs! Intel will steal your IP!
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 3:27 PM
    Intel still has it's ARM IP that it bought back in the 80's I believe and further enhanced when they bought out DEC and StrongARM. Intel can build ARM chips if and whenever they want. They just sold the xScale stuff to Marvell once they had the Atom designed and the PDA was no longer a hot market item. Intel making ARM processors is not really that big of a deal. I'm sure it is something they know how to do very well already and would not take much time to ramp up with. Intel isn't in the business of making full fledge computing products like Samsung... just the guts. Apple need not worry about Intel building their own iPad competitor like Microsoft. Apple has little to worry about.
  • 4 Hide
    olaf , December 3, 2012 3:42 PM
    I thought Intel already said it won't make chips for someone else, i doubt they will do so now...
  • 2 Hide
    mavroxur , December 3, 2012 3:55 PM
    shafe88Samsung, Can your beat Intel fab process. If Intel uses the same 22nm precess they use for their own processors this could mean 1 of two things, more chips per wafer for greater profit or more cores per chip for greater performance.



    Or, lots of cheaper, moderate performance chips that Apple will sell at "performance" prices, and pocket the cash. I doubt Apple will leverage the 22nm fab to give greater performance to their consumers.
  • 6 Hide
    technoholic , December 3, 2012 4:31 PM
    2 Monopoly-wannabes in 1, both of them charging high premiums for their products. You can guess how this will affect the consumer's pocket...
  • 5 Hide
    tokencode , December 3, 2012 4:36 PM
    Intel can leverage their great fab capabilities to drive the price of ARM through the floor and make it an unprofitable business for the competition. When everyone gets out of the ARM business, raise prices and make x86 the attractive alternative.
  • -7 Hide
    ericburnby , December 3, 2012 5:31 PM
    mavroxurOr, lots of cheaper, moderate performance chips that Apple will sell at "performance" prices, and pocket the cash. I doubt Apple will leverage the 22nm fab to give greater performance to their consumers.

    You "doubt" Apple would give performance to the consumers? You realize they spent significant money to build a custom designed A6 (while Samsung still makes their ARM processors using off-the-shelf ARM designs) that offers better performance than their competitors? Or that Apple still has the highest performing GPU of all mobile platforms?
  • 0 Hide
    azraa , December 3, 2012 5:49 PM
    I know that this will be downgraded as hell, but for me, such deal seems like the two douchy tech-giants trying to squeeze more money out of pretentious people.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 6:39 PM
    I don't like Apple, I don like Intel, But for them to go at each other in chip design is good for consumers! AMD will not go under, but they could be a factor if they put better than Broadwell graphics in their next APUs, and stop trying to milk incremental inprovements in their APU graphics, which is what got AMD where they are now, in a heap of trouble!
  • 2 Hide
    rpgplayer , December 3, 2012 6:41 PM
    I see this as an opportunity for AMD to contract Samsung for chip production. If Apple drops Samsung then Samsung will be looking for some business. A spot that AMD might just be able to leverage itself in to.
  • -1 Hide
    technoholic , December 3, 2012 7:00 PM
    rpgplayerI see this as an opportunity for AMD to contract Samsung for chip production. If Apple drops Samsung then Samsung will be looking for some business. A spot that AMD might just be able to leverage itself in to.

    Samsung and AMD at business, such as?
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