Intel has signed an agreement with semiconductor start-up Achronix to help it manufacture high-performance programmable chips.
According to V3, the agreement will grant Achronix access to Intel's 22nm manufacturing unit, allowing it to make field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA).
Achronix says that the FPGA line produced from the unit will be designed for high performance computing and imaging systems, as well as for powering telecommunications and industrial equipment.
This is the first time Intel has opened up its closely guarded multi-billion dollar manufacturing facilities to an outsider.
The company said in a blog post: “For perspective, this deal would only make up a tiny amount of our overall capacity, significantly less than one percent, and is not currently viewed as financially material to Intel’s earnings. But it’s still an important endeavour for us that we’re committed to deliver on.”
Intel added that it now has line of sight to 22, 15, 11 and 8 nanometres production units, with the first 22nm products set to be rolled out in the second half of 2011.