Skip to main content

Intel may make chips for Apple and others

Chip giant Intel's chief financial officer Stacy Smith has hinted that the company could be open to fabricating chips designed by other companies.

Speaking to tech hacks after a financial event in London today, the exec said that any request to build third-party CPUs would trigger "in depth discussion" according to Reuters.

Effectively outing his wish-list of potential customers, Smith remarked, "If Apple or Sony came to us and said 'I want to do a product that involves your IA [Intel architecture] core and put some of my IP around it', I wouldn't blink. That would be fantastic business for us."

Intel, which has dominated the PC CPU market for decades, is currently struggling to find a foothold in the smartphone and tablet arenas currently dominated by British chip design masters ARM.

As unlikely as it may sound, a hook-up between Intel and Apple could lead to intel manufacturing ARM designed chip-sets, which sounds a bit like Pepsi agreeing to manufacture Coke to us, but stranger things have happened.

The bottom line is that Intel is no longer in a position where it can pick and choose its partners, and anyone who walks through the door with a big enough bag of cash will walk away with a big bag of chips.

The fact that Apple is involved in some patent-based handbaggery with its current chip fabricator Samsung, and would love to lay its hands on Intel's forthcoming 3D tri-gate transistor technology, could well convince the two companies to further cement their already fruitful relationship.