| SAN FRANCISCO, March 26
SAN FRANCISCO, March 26 Chipmaker Altera Corp
is working with Intel Corp to combine separate
components like processors, memory and programmable chips into
customized devices in a technique aimed at reducing
manufacturing costs and improving performance.
The new venture, to produce what are known in the technology
world as 'multi-die' devices, builds on an agreement announced
over a year ago for Intel to open its cutting-edge factories to
produce Altera's programmable chips, Brad Howe, Altera's senior
vice president of research and development, told Reuters late on
It also reflects strategy at Intel, the world's largest
chipmaker, to look for growth opportunities in mobile devices,
reducing the company's reliance on the slowing personal computer
Both companies are contributing packaging and semiconductor
expertise that will help Altera improve the performance of chips
for communications, high-performance computing and military
applications. "We're partnering to bring those technologies
together in a single-package solution," Howe said.
Multi-die packaging is aimed at efficiently connecting
separately made components as one device. Many of those
components could be manufactured together on one silicon die,
but in some cases the complexity of doing so can mean higher
costs and lower yields of successfully produced components.
Connecting discrete components in sophisticated ways can
also lead to smaller form devices that use less energy, and let
chipmakers more easily mix and match components to produce
different variations of chips.
Altera is betting that paying for access to Intel's
factories equipped with new 14 nanometer trigate transistor
technology will give it an edge over rival programmable
chipmaker Xilinx Inc.
"Things are going exactly as we'd expect them to be going,"
Altera's Howe said. "We're very committed jointly to a
The deal to share Intel's prized manufacturing technology
with Altera is the most notable of its kind so far for Intel.
Chief executive Brian Krzanich said in November he wanted more
Far behind rivals in making chips for smartphones and
tablets, adding more manufacturing customers is one way for
Intel to keep its multi-billion dollar factories operating at
In February, Intel said that a new facility built in
Chandler, Arizona, originally slated as a $5 billion project to
produce Intel's most advanced chips, would remain closed for the
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)