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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Intel To Expand Its Contract Manufacturing Business, Unveils New Atom Chips

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said on Thursday he planned to expand his company's contract manufacturing business, which features the most advanced process technology.

Intel's expansion to contract manufacturing has been rumored for some time now, as the move would ensure a significant revenue stream and would also offset the company 's slow reaction to market demand for mobile chips for smartphones and tablets.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, today told investors at Intel?s annual investor meeting:

"We're going to go much further. If we can utilize our silicon to provide the best computing, we'll do that," Krzanich told analysts. "People who can use our leading edge and build computing capabilities that are better than anyone else's - those are good candidates for our foundry service."

"Our view is that it's declining but it's beginning to show signs of stabilization," he said.

Krzanich said Intel will further improve its chip offerings for tablet makers and he pledged to quadruple the number of tablets with Intel chips in 2014.

Tablets with Intel chips would range in price from less than $100 to more than $400, he said.

Intel also unveiled upcoming mobile chips from its Atom line. With the new chips, Intel says it will boost mobile chip graphics performance by 15 times and CPU performance by five times by 2016.

The 64-bit Atom chips are based on new CPU and graphics cores and will appear in smartphones and devices starting in 2015. The lineup includes two high-performance mobile chips and the first Atom chip with an integrated modem, which will be for low-priced entry-level devices.

By the end of 2014, Intel will ship a high-performance mobile chip code-named "Cherry Trail," which will be based on an upcoming CPU code-named "Airmont." The chip will pack Intel's next-generation graphics.

Cherry Trail will be succeeded by a faster chip code-named "Broxton," which will ship in mid-2015 and be based on a new CPU core code-named "Goldmont." Broxton will be built into what Intel executives called a "chassis" to which other components can be easily connected.

Starting from 2014, a high-performance dual-core 22nm chip code-named "Merrifield" will appear in smartphones. A quad-core variant of Merrifield will ship in the second half of next year.

For entry-level smartphones, Intel will release "Sofia" in late 2014. Sofia will beinitially be manufactured outside of Intel in order to be available sooner, sometime in 2014. Intel will later move production of SoFIA chips to its own 14 nanometer manufacturing lines, Krzanich said. The chip will be initially paired with a 3G x86 communications core, which will be upgraded to LTE in 2015.

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