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Gartner says Intel getting Cisco as a foundry customer is a good move

Lots of growth potential
Mon Jan 28 2013, 16:50
An Intel logo on a piece of equipment

INTEL'S reported decision to start fabbing chips for Cisco is a good move, according to a senior analyst at Gartner.

Intel's foundry business has been something of a slow burner, thanks in no small part due to the firm saying it would not make chips for companies that could rival its own products. However, Intel reportedly has made Cisco a foundry customer, a move that Masatsune Yamaji, principal research analyst at Gartner said was a good decision.

Yamaji told The INQUIRER that the "traditional semiconductor giants will find it easier to go to the datacenter and communications infrastructure market". While he couldn't confirm whether the reports of Intel stamping out Cisco chips were true he thought it would be a prudent decision.

"Their [Intel] decision is very good because communication infrastructure guys like Cisco will have the opportunity in the coming years to keep increasing [sales], so it is a good target for Intel," said Yamaji.

According to Gartner's figures, Cisco is number nine in its list of semiconductor customers and the firm has been making a marketing push in the server market lately. Cisco already has a partnership with Intel in servers and datacenter infrastructure, so it isn't all that far fetched to see Cisco using Intel's fabs to stamp out its own chip designs.

As for Intel, it has been extremely successful in the datacenter market over the past decade with its Xeon server chips becoming the market share leaders. Cisco's growing appetite for semiconductors could be just what Intel needs to offset any decrease in revenue as some of those datacenter customers start look at ARM based servers. µ


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