More Details Emerge on Mediatek's Intel Foundry Plans

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Last week’s news about Mediatek signing an agreement to use Intel’s Foundry Services (IFS) led to some speculation as to what Mediatek would be manufacturing at IFS. Details have now emerged in the Taiwan press about Mediatek’s plans and the first products will be using the Intel 16 process, what was previously known as its 22 nm node. As such, we’re not talking about anything cutting edge or even remotely close, but that’s hardly a problem for TSMC, as the company makes a vast range of products suitable for the node.

MediaTek CEO Rick Tsai mentioned that IFS will be used for producing semiconductors for digital TVs and wireless access networks at an investor conference in Taiwan. This suggests that most of the components might not even be for Mediatek itself, but rather its subsidiaries, such as MStar or Airoha. MStar is a company that produces a wide range of lower-end smart TV chips, whereas Airoha has ended up taking over Mediatek’s networking and Bluetooth business units. Admittedly, Mediatek still has some of these types of products under its own brand, but these tend to be higher-end products that would require a more advanced node than 22 nm in most cases. Mediatek’s move to IFS has raised concerns in Taiwan that the smaller foundries might be losing business from Mediatek over time, which means that UMC and PSMC are going to be on the losing end of this deal.

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