Last week was a rough one for Intel. For one, it announced that its 7nm fabrication process is still a long ways away. Additionally, Intel revealed that it would consider jumping into a manufacturing partnership with a company that can produce a 7nm chip, which would be the first time Intel let another company produce its CPU silicon.
Of course, the first logical partner to come to mind is TSMC, and the stock markets confirm that most investors agree with that sentiment. While Intel's shares nosedived by a whole 16% over the weekend, TSMC's rose by about 10%.
Today, a report in the China Times stated that Intel has reached an agreement with TSMC to produce its chips starting next year. Intel already works with TSMC for production of chipsets and certain FPGAs.
Intel has always produced its own chips. It's only now that it's been on 14nm for the better part of five years that it is considering the help of a third-party chip fab. This will be a helping hand for the chipmaker while it sorts out its own smaller node sizes.
Meanwhile, AMD has been TSMC's trusted big-time partner for almost three years, and this partnership is one that's clearly meant to last. It's been confirmed that TSMC already has agreements with AMD for capacity when it comes to the 5nm process.
Alternatively, it is possible that Intel will turn to Samsung for 7nm chips.