Intel graphics chip will use new version of TSMC 7 nanometer process: sources

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FILE PHOTO: The Intel Corporation logo is seen on a sign outside the Fab 42 microprocessor manufacturing site in Chandler, Arizona, USA October 2, 2020. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

(Reuters) – Intel Corp plans to tap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to make a second-generation discrete graphics chip for personal computers that it hopes will help it fight the rise of Nvidia Corp, said to Reuters two sources familiar with the matter.

The chip, known as “DG2,” will be manufactured on a new chip-making process at TSMC that has yet to be officially named, but is an improved version of its 7-nanometer process, the researchers said. two people familiar with the subject.

Intel, long the world leader in chipmaking technology, has lost its manufacturing lead in recent years and is now considering whether to outsource some of its core chips, or CPUs, which are slated for release. 2023.

Last month, activist investor Third Point LLC sent a letter to Intel’s board of directors asking it to consider whether to keep its chip design and manufacturing operations under one roof.

Intel has long outsourced chips other than its flagship processors and is a major customer of TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker. Last month, the head of Intel’s autonomous subsidiary Mobileye told Reuters that its next autonomous vehicle processor will continue to be manufactured by TSMC on its 7-nanometer process.

With its graphics chips, Intel is looking to tap into the booming PC gaming market. Its DG2 chip is slated for release later this year or early 2022 and compete with Nvidia and AMD gaming chips that cost between $ 400 and $ 600, the sources say.

The chip-making technology for the DG2 is expected to be more advanced than Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s 8-nanometer process used in Nvidia’s latest series of graphics chips launched in the fall, people said. They added that it would also be a step ahead of Advanced Micro Devices graphics chips made with TSMC’s 7 nanometer process.

Intel declined to comment and TSMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, Intel officials said it would outsource the DG2 chip, but didn’t say which chipmaker won the company or what chip-making process it would use.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Edited by Jonathan Weber and Jane Wardell

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