In the more than thirty years of its existence, the Taiwanese company TSMC has managed to become the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world and controls more than half of the market. It’s no secret that Intel’s current leadership wants to challenge that status — at least on a technological level. As it turns out, Intel has ambitions of its own in the chip packaging services market.
TSMC not only processes silicon wafers and forms individual chips with system logic and other components on them, but also offers its customers complex spatial layout services for finished products and their subsequent testing. Such integration of production processes allows TSMC customers to receive several services from one company at the same time, while achieving consistently high quality results.
Accordingly BarronsMark Gardner, spokesman for Intel Foundry Services, spoke this week about the company’s commitment to offering its customers a wide range of unit testing and packaging services, even as competing companies make chips for them. In particular, the Intel plant in New Mexico will develop relevant competencies and offer similar services. Intel’s advantage, according to a company official, lies in its companies’ geographic spread, while TSMC focuses on Taiwan, whose vulnerability amid rising US-China tensions is beginning to worry more market participants.
Intel also has quite a lot of research potential in improving chip packaging technologies. Now she is thinking about switching to a more rigid glass substrate and is also introducing technologies for integrating optical interfaces that can significantly increase data exchange. It will go into production late next year.
According to an Intel spokesman, the company will allow customers to freely choose the range of chip packaging and testing services they can use. As mentioned earlier, Intel is negotiating contract direction with seven of the top 10 developers who don’t have their own manufacturing facilities, and Cisco and Amazon have already become its customers.