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Via, Qualcomm threatened by Intel-TSMC deal

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The Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which, as we reported last week, will outstrip every other chip factory in the world next year, is brokering a deal with Intel which threatens the futures of both Via and Qualcomm.

TSMC is a foundry firm, with over 300 customers, and one of its senior Chinese executives, rather unusually, outlined its terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) at a Via Technology Forum in Taipei last week.

It prefers its customers to commit 75 per cent of their chip production for a period of three years or more, with CEO talking to CEO. Our understanding is that Morris Chang, its CEO, has been in recent head-to-head talks with the CEO of Intel, Craig Barrett.

Those wide ranging discussions cover a variety of semiconductor processes, including making chipsets, employing its 12-inch wafer plant, using its .13 micron technology and its copper wire interconnects, plans which are well advanced.

The significance of such a deal cannot be underestimated, because TSMC fabricates semiconductors for Qualcomm, a bitter enemy of Intel in the cellphone chip market, and also makes many chipsets for Via, a rapidly growing competitor to Chipzilla.

Further, TSMC also makes Cyrix III microprocessors for Via, and this latter company wants to proliferate these CPUs, the so-called "brains" of PCs, in cheap devices for government, education and the third world.

Chipzilla, TSMC and Marmosetzilla (Via) could not be contacted for comment at press time. ®

See Also

Qualcomm and Via enter unholy alliance
TSMC outstrips Intel in wafer starts
Taiwan rumour mill churns on
Via pushes $200 Info PC
TSMC starts pushing out .13 micron stuff
TSMC carries on chip churn

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