Intel signs Synopsys deal to boost its foundry division

15 Aug 2023

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Intel said the new IP deal will help foundry customers to speed up the design, execution and project schedules for their system-on-chips.

Intel has expanded its partnership with chip designer Synopsys to bring new intellectual property (IP) and automation services to Intel’s Foundry Services.

The expanded deal brings a new portfolio of Synopsys IP for Intel’s 3 and 18A process technologies. This will give Intel’s foundry customers access to new Synopsys IP built with Intel process technologies.

Intel Foundry Services offers a range of manufacturing services for customers. The chipmaker said this new deal will help foundry customers speed up the design, execution and project schedules for their system-on-chips.

Joachim Kunkel, GM of Synopsys’ solutions group, said the two companies have enjoyed a long-term strategic partnership that has enabled Intel to “meet the complex requirements of data-intensive applications”.

“The collaboration with Intel on critical IP development, along with design and system technology optimisation, empowers our mutual customers today and in the future to accelerate their next generation of high-performance, AI-enabled designs,” Kunkel said.

The partnership is expected to boost the credibility of Intel’s foundry services business, as Synopsys has collaborated with leading chip manufacturers such as Taiwan’s TSMC. Stuart Pann, senior VP and GM of Intel Foundry Services, said Synopsys brings a “strong track record of delivering high-quality IP to a broad customer base”.

“This agreement will help accelerate the availability of IP on advanced IFS nodes for mutual customers,” Pann said. “Marking another important step in our IDM 2.0 strategy, this transaction will foster a vibrant foundry ecosystem by allowing designers to fully realise the advantages of Intel 3 and Intel 18A process technologies and quickly bring differentiated products to market.”

IDM 2.0 involves combining Intel’s internal factory network with third-party capacity as well as new Intel Foundry Services. The chip manufacturer first announced this strategy in March 2021, along with an announcement that Ireland would receive 1,600 high-skilled jobs as a result.

In April, Intel entered a multi-year agreement with UK chip designer Arm to bring new designs into its foundries, as part of this IDM strategy.

In June, Intel announced a $4.6bn investment into a new chip plant in Poland to cater to anticipated demand for its products in the European market.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic