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Intel and Samsung CEO meets hinting at a possible Future Collaboration

According to the Korea Herald, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger visited Seoul to meet with several top Samsung executives. The talks, which were confirmed by Samsung, have spurred speculation about possibly new Intel-Samsung collaboration plans.

Gelsinger flew to South Korea to meet with Samsung executives after attending the 2022 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong, co-CEO and chip business boss Kyung Kye-Hyun, head of Samsung Mobile Roh Tae-moon, and other senior Samsung executives sat around the table

There is no official announcement or executive quotes about the meeting in the Korea Herald. The meeting, however, raises expectations of collaboration between these two chip-making behemoths as the race for next-generation process technology heats up, according to the report. As a Korean publication, the Herald’s claim that Samsung is ahead of Intel in several key semiconductor manufacturing metrics is unsurprising. It even mentions Intel’s infamous 10nm stumbling block and the difficulty of breaking the final double-digit nanometer barrier. However, that statement contains some truth, as the current (Alder Lake) ‘Intel 7’ process is a rebrand of Intel’s 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process.

Previous Intel/Samsung collaborations are mentioned as additional ‘evidence’ of collaborative talks taking place, according to the source. While we can’t provide a definitive reason or confirm the Korea Herald’s claims, Gelsinger was unmistakably there for business, not to discuss new televisions or smartphones. 

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Intel has already reached out to TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer and a competitor to both Intel and Samsung

Gelsinger was in Taiwan in April, trying to secure more of TSMC’s sub-7nm production capacity. At the time of the visit, no specifics about the parts Intel wants more of were revealed.

Intel’s latest leadership roadmap sheds some light on the company’s past, present, and future dealings. In its Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake chips, Intel will use ‘External N3’ for one of the tiles. The 3nm process technology is referred to as N3 by TSMC. At the same time, Intel is planning a major upgrade to Intel 4 processors (previously called Intel 7nm, enhanced with EUV lithography).

We recently reported that the Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake chips will be among the first to use Intel Foveros 3D technology. In August, when Intel gives a presentation about these processors at Hot Chips 34, we should learn a lot more about them. Meteor Lake is the codename for the 14th generation Intel Core processors, which will be released in 2023.

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Looking at Intel’s roadmap for Lunar Lake and beyond, we can see that it makes no mention of the external foundry technology that will accompany its 18A CPU tiles. This could be where Samsung enters the picture, ready for the year 2024. It’s also possible that it’s won some orders before Lunar Lake.

The two Grace-equipped supercomputers will join a slew of other Nvidia GPU-powered supercomputers, including NERSC’s Perlmutter system with 3.8 AI ExaFlops, Nvidia’s EOS with 18 AI ExaFlops, and CINECA’s Leonardo supercomputer with 10 AI ExaFlops.

Nvidia is currently developing some public-facing Grace Superchip-powered supercomputers. As the business gets closer to shipping the Grace Superchip silicon in early 2023, we expect that number to grow dramatically.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.
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