Intel to make Qualcomm chips in new foundry deal

Intel has announced its first major customer for its new Intel Foundry Services business: Qualcomm. Qualcomm is best known for designing the Snapdragon chips that power most major Android phones. In the coming years, Qualcomm will have its chips manufactured by Intel using Intel’s forthcoming 20A process.

No timetable has been announced for when the first Intel-made Qualcomm chips will arrive or which of Qualcomm’s products Intel will produce.

In addition, Amazon’s AWS will partner with Intel Foundry Services, relying on Intel’s packaging solutions (although Intel will not make chips for Amazon directly.)

Qualcomm will rely on Intel’s newly announced Intel 20A technology node, slated for release in 2024. Intel 20A will introduce a new transistor architecture, RibbonFET, Intel’s first since 2011.

Intel had previously announced its new foundry business as part of new CEO Pat Gelsinger’s “IDM 2.0” strategy shortly after he took over leadership of the company. Intel Foundry Services was a key part of that plan, one that would see Intel move beyond making its own chips to handle manufacturing for outside companies. Qualcomm and Amazon are the first – and most prominent – partners Intel has announced for IFS to date, although Gelsinger has previously mentioned that Intel is in talks with more than 100 foundry companies.