Intel and ARM are big competitors in designing chip architecture. But the two companies announced a collaboration today where Intel factories will be able to manufacture ARM-based chips as part of Intel’s custom chip manufacturing business.
The deal means that Intel’s custom foundry business, where it manufactures chips that are designed by other companies, will be able to manufacture chip designs created using the ARM Artisan Intellectual Property platform. That means that chips designed with ARM’s tools will be manufacturable in Intel’s 10-nanometer factories.
“I think it can make a real difference in the industry,” said Will Abbey, general manager for Artisan IP at ARM, on stage at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. “For me, it simply makes sense.”
Intel will be able to manufacture 64-bit ARM cores and physical IP in Intel’s factories. ARM creates an architecture that its customers can use to design their own chips, and it has specialized in low-power designs that have been particularly successful in the mobile business. ARM’s customers ship billions of chips a year, and they compete head-to-head against Intel in a variety of markets. Japan’s SoftBank is in the process of buying ARM for $32 billion.
“ARM partners can build world-class products that will make a difference in the mobile and consumer perspective,” Abbey said.