CHIPMAKER Intel reportedly plans to outsource some of its 14nm chip production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
So says Digitimes, which reports that Intel is struggling meet capacity in-house, likely caused by the firm's delay in advancing to 10nm which has placed further pressure on its 14nm production lines. The firm's overall 14nm chip supply fall short of demand by as much as 50 per cent, according to the report.
Intel will give priority to its high-margin products, including server-use processors and chipsets. Therefore, it will reportedly outsource the production of its entry-level H310, "and several other 300 series desktop processors", to TSMC, which Digitimes notes is already a contract manufacturer of Intel for SoFIA-series handset SoC chips and FPGA products, and makes Intel's baseband chips for use in the iPhone.
"Outsourcing has become the only and appropriate choice for Intel since the company is unlikely to build additional 14nm process capacity," the report claims.
Intel's slowing 14nm production has lead to certain CPUs rising in price due to their reduced availability, according to a report at Tom's Hardware.
The website discovered that Intel's less expensive chips, such as the Core i5-8400, i5-8500, i5-8600 and i7-8700, are now selling well above MSRP, while confirming that the Core i7-8700K is having "sporadic availability issues".
Intel has declined to comment on the reported move to outsource 14nm chips to TSMC but said in statement: "Customer demand has continued to improve over the course of the year, fuelling growth in every segment of Intel's business and raising our 2018 revenue outlook $4.5 billion from our January expectations.
"We will have supply to meet our announced, full-year revenue outlook and we're working closely with our customers and factories to manage any additional upside."
Motherboard makers expect the tight supply of Intel's 14nm chipsets to ease up by the end of 2018. µ
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