Via, Qualcomm threatened by Intel-TSMC deal

Only real men have fabs, continued

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