Intel was the rival of Qualcomm as the mobile SoC maker tried to enter into the PC segment with its efficient ARM-based SoCs. However, the chip shortage has given many silicon giants a lesson that the foundry they are partners with has to play a key role in supplying chips.
Surprisingly, at its Intel Accelerated event, where Intel showed its ideas laid out its roadmap through 2025, renaming its process nodes. Qualcomm could be one of the next big clients for Intel and it would use the so-called Intel 20A process nodes.
This is interesting because Intel 20A is said to usher in a new angstrom era with two breakthrough technologies, RibbonFET and PowerVia. So, the process nodes will be measured in angstroms, rather than nanometers as an angstrom is a tenth of a nanometer.
At first, it will be 20 angstroms and it would be the smallest process nodes that we’ve ever seen before and will be arriving in 2024. RibbonFET will be Intel’s implementation of a gate-all-around transistor, and it will be the company’s first new transistor architecture since it pioneered FinFET in 2011.
The technology delivers faster transistor switching speeds while achieving the same drive current as multiple fins in a smaller footprint. PowerVia is Intel’s unique industry-first implementation of backside power delivery, optimizing signal transmission by eliminating the need for power routing on the front side of the wafer.
This is Intel’s prowess being shown under new CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is desperate to revive and flourish the firm’s foundry business. Though it seems strange Qualcomm is partnering with Intel if that benefits both parties, there’s no harm in doing so, guess we have to wait between now and 2024 to know more about this partnership.