Intel hopes to save the chip industry, one competitor at a time

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Intel made a mammoth investment to shore up its U.S. supply chain this week, dedicating $20 billion to build two new chip plants on its sprawling campus here. The country’s largest chipmaker also expanded its commitment to make chips at third-party contract manufacturers.

There’s a third prong to Intel’s manufacturing moves. And at first glance, it seems to run counter to the first two efforts.

Specifically, Intel announced it will be setting aside some of its own manufacturing capacity to sell to domestic chipmakers, which they can use to help iron out their own supply-chain issues. In other words, the company will be making chips for its own competitors. And in doing so, it essentially will be competing with independent foundries like TSMC in Taiwan and Samsung Semiconductor in South Korea – which, incidentally, make chips for Intel as well as its chip rivals. It’s enough to make your head spin.

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