Hopefully, they can break the duopoly that’s MediaTek and Qualcomm
Intel has announced that they are partnering with the British chipset architecture designer Arm to create a series of mobile chipsets. Today, the mobile chipset market is dominated by MediaTek and Qualcomm (not including Apple) and Intel and AMD for PCs and laptops. Yes, you could reckon UNISOC, Samsung, and HiSilicon exist but they make chipsets for their own companies most of the time. As for UNISOC, they are yet to be seen as this mobile chipset giant and are yet to present their own 5G flagship chipsets.
In a recent announcement, Intel has collaborated with Arm to help them design mobile chipsets. Afterwards, the company will focus on making chipsets for automotive, aerospace, data storage, and IoT products. These Intel mobile chips are based on existing Arm CPU cores, including the Cortex series.
Customers who will use these chipsets would be able to take advantage of Intel’s “breakthrough transistor technologies for improved power and performance”. Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said that this partnership allows manufacturers to have more choices and approaches for those who are looking for next-gen process technology.
Here’s how it will work: Intel will provide the foundries as they already have thanks to their long-time experience in making computer CPUs, while ARM will provide the designs and blueprints under “Design Technology Co-Optimization (DTCO). These processes allow for the manufacturing of ARM-based CPUs at lower costs and better processing power and efficiency.
This wasn’t the first time Intel attempted to make a breakthrough in the mobile chipset industry. They tried their luck back in 2014 until late 2015. However, contemporary rivals like Qualcomm and MediaTek, as well as heating issues prevented the company from succeeding.
By the way, these new mobile chipsets from Intel are made using a 1.8nm process! Specifically, 1.8A (for “Angstrom”), a metric unit of measurement smaller than a nanometre, equivalent to one-billionth of a metre. With IBM developing a chipset as small as 2nm and contemporary companies developing 3nm for mainstream devices, it’s safe to say that smaller units than nm is the future for chipsets while transistors get larger and larger. A smaller chipset allows for a larger room for more important parts.