* Intel and Altera to develop "multi-die" chips
* Agreement extends previous manufacturing deal
* Technology aims to make chips more efficient
(Adds comment from Intel executive, stock prices)
By Noel Randewich
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 agreement, to produce what are known in the
technology world as "multi-die" devices, builds on a deal
announced over a year ago for Intel to open its most advanced
factories to produce Altera's programmable chips, Brad Howe,
Altera's senior vice president of research and development, told
Reuters late on Tuesday.
It also reflects strategy at Intel, the world's largest
chipmaker, to look for growth opportunities in new markets and
reduce 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.
Intel's manufacturing agreement with Altera is going
"exceptionally well," Sunit Rikhi, general manager of Intel's
contract manufacturing business, said in a statement on
Wednesday. "Our close collaboration enables us to work together
in many areas related to semiconductor manufacturing and
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, Intel views adding more manufacturing customers as one
way to keep its multibillion-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 its most advanced chips, would remain closed for the
Shares of Intel were down 0.3 percent at $25.39 while
Altera's stock was 1.2 percent lower at $35.98 on Wednesday
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Kenneth Maxwell and