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Intel turns to Samsung for help keeping up with AMD, rumor claims

Intel Comet Lake
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has allegedly found a solution, or at least part of one, for its long-running supply issues with CPUs – which the firm admitted would be ongoing in a recent statement – and that solution is to enlist Samsung to help make more chips.

This is according to Pulse News Korea (as highlighted by Tech Powerup), and as ever with rumors, we need to tread with caution – although in the aforementioned statement, Intel did specifically state that “we are increasing our use of foundries … to produce more Intel CPU products” (as well as Intel expanding its own manufacturing capacity).

Rather than going to the likes of TSMC – which is used extensively by rival AMD, and apparently has little breathing room or capacity for taking on extra business right now – Intel has seemingly turned to Samsung’s fabs for help in making desktop processors, according to the report which cites the usual industry sources.

Intel’s statement of last week, which apologized for the impact CPU shipment delays have had on PC manufacturers, appeared to pre-empt several complaints from major PC vendors that have emerged this week, including HP and Dell (along with Asus previously).

As Anandtech reports, Jeffrey Clarke, COO of Dell, delivered the following rather sharp statement: “Intel CPU shortages have worsened quarter-over-quarter. The shortages are now impacting our commercial PC and premium consumer PC Q4 forecasted shipments.”

Cause for concern

While we’ve been hearing a lot in recent times about how AMD is dominating with its new Ryzen 3000 processors in the desktop arena, Intel is still firmly in control when you look at the overall CPU market, which includes the large number of laptops and business PCs that are still Intel-powered in the majority.

However, if Intel is letting the major OEMs down to the point where they are coming out and making statements like the one from Dell above, which definitely aren’t beating around the bush – that’s obviously a cause for concern.

Particularly now this situation has gone on for so long, with Intel’s issues in failing to produce enough 14nm processors going way back to last year (and all being tied in with the equally dire struggle to achieve viable yields in 10nm, in order to progress from 14nm).

So this report has something of a ring of truth about it given the overall picture, and perhaps at this point, it’s unlikely Intel really cares how CPU production is upped – but just that it has to be ramped up, and quickly, before the confidence of big manufacturers really starts to ebb.