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Intel enlists Panasonic as foundry client

A fab-ulous partnership?

Intel has announced that it will be manufacturing system-on-chip (SoC) products for Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, becoming the company's sixth customer.

Other names include Altera, Achronix Semiconductor, Tabula, Netromome and Microsemi. None of them are household names but it's likely that Intel deliberately wants to keep any direct competitors to its product lines at bay.

Panasonic will use Intel's 14nm Tri-gate manufacturing process to churn out its own SoCs for its consumer electronics products.

These are likely to be ARM-based and the partnership will help Intel keep its manufacturing facilities running at capacity as demand for traditional products such as x86 processors soften.

Intel is one of the few chipmakers that design and owns its own manufacturing plants. Long-standing rival AMD got rid of its expensive manufacturing capabilities back in 2009, spinning it out as GlobalFoundries.

Intel launched its foundry business back in 2010 and offers some of the most advanced manufacturing manufacturing capabilities in the world of semiconductors with rivals still having to mass produce 14nm products.