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Intel Contracts TSMC to Make Langwell Chipsets

Taipei, July 28, 2009 (CENS)--Intel Corp., the world's No.1 chipmaker, will begin sometime this quarter to contract foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to make its Langwell chipset using TSMC expertise and 65-nanometer process.

The chipset is designed for Intel Moorestown platform meant for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Industry watchers believe the contract is the prelude to Intel's foundry contract to be placed with TSMC to manufacture system-on-chip (SoC) devices for the Intel Atom microprocessor platform. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding this March for the SoC contract manufacturing.

Intel will launch the Moorestown platform next quarter. The platform design has integrated graphic core and memory control devices with the Atom family of processors codenamed Lincroft, with NAND and USB control chips, CE-ATA hard-disc interface, MIPI CSI mobile interface, audio code, and wireless network and power management ports to be built into Langwell chipsets.

Intel has decided to introduce new MID models outfitted with Moorestown by the end of this year in cooperation with LG and Nokia. In light of MID designs varying among suppliers, Intel applies SoC designs to Moorestown's chipset so that it can be tailor-made for different MID designs. However, Intel's IP is dedicated to personal computers, prompting it to borrow non-PC expertise from TSMC for Langwell.

Industry watchers project global demand for Langwell chipsets to rise to five to seven million units by the end of next year from two to three million units early next year based on Intel's share of the MID market.

(by Ken Liu)
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