[News] Intel’s Possibility? Nvidia Hints at Considering a Third Foundry Partner

2023-12-11 Semiconductors editor

Nvidia CFO, Colette Kress, recently hinted again that the next-gen chips might be outsourced to Intel Corp. During the call with semiconductor analyst Tim Arcuri at the UBS Global Technology Conference on November 28th, she was asked whether Intel would be considered as a foundry partner for the next-gen chips.

In response, she stated that there are many powerful foundries in the market. TSMC and Samsung Electronics have been great partners. She said, “we’d love to have a third one,” when answering whether Nvidia want a third partner.

Kress also mentioned that, TSMC’s and others’ US fab may also be their options, and “there is nothing necessarily different but again in terms of different region. Nothing will stop us from potentially adding another foundry.”

Kress highlighted that Nvidia’s current data center GPUs designed for AI and high-performance computing (HPC) are predominantly outsourced to TSMC. However, in the previous generation, Nvidia’s gaming GPUs were mainly entrusted to Samsung for fabrication. According to Sedaily, Samsung’s foundry was responsible for manufacturing Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 series gaming GPUs based on the Ampere architecture.

Speaking of foundry partners for AI products, Nvidia anticipates that TSMC will remain a crucial foundry partner for producing AI Hopper H200 and Blackwell B100 GPUs. Any additional orders might be entrusted to Samsung.

Nvidia CEO previously said Intel’s next-gen process test chips “look good”

Additionally, reports from Barron also mentioned that on May 30th, during an interaction with journalists in Taiwan, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang was asked whether Nvidia is considering diversifying its supplier base given the rising tensions between the U.S. and China. In response, Huang referred to Nvidia’s long-standing collaboration with TSMC and Samsung Electronics, stating, “We have a lot of customers depending on us. And so our supply chain resilience is very important to us. We manufacture in as many places as we can.”

At that time, Huang also expressed, “We’re open to manufacturing with Intel. And (Intel CEO) Pat (Gelsinger) has said in the past that we’re evaluating their process, and we’ve recently received the test chip results of their next generation process and the results look good.”

From Nvidia CFO’s talk in November and Nvidia CEO’s response in May, it is obvious that, beyond TSMC and Samsung, Nvidia is thinking about a potential third foundry partner.

Please note that this article cites information from Sedaily and Barron

(Image: NVIDIA Hopper Architecture – H100 SXM)