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Is Samsung building Intel CPUs?

Whispers suggest that Samsung could soon be manufacturing Intel Core gaming CPUs, in order to better meet demands for the company's chips.

Intel logo in blue on white background

According to a report from Korean website Pulse Intel has reached out to TSMC of Taiwan and Samsung Electronics to help meet demand for CPUs. Meeting CPU demands right now is proving to be a problem right across the board, Intel chip shortages have been an issue for some time now and getting hold of a new AMD CPU is no picnic right now either.

The choice Intel has been faced with in regard to production of current generation CPUs is a tough one, expand production capacity for the 14nm components, or continue at current levels and invest in expanded production capacity for 10nm or 7nm or whichever process Intel decides to move onto next. Neither of these options is a win for Intel, if they push existing tech they hamper their adoption of whichever new hotness they finally embrace, but if they hold off then they fail to meet demand and customers who need CPUs are forced to look elsewhere. By bringing in a third party they mitigate the problem substantially and take a shorter-term hit to the profit margins instead.

The caveat is of course would a Samsung manufactured Intel designed CPU be as good as an Intel manufactured Intel designed CPU? Would there be a quantifiable variance? What might it mean for the production side at Intel if it turned out that Samsung could make the CPUs better than they can? There are potential complications to this but if this sort of thing was easy the demand issue would never have come up in the first place.

If this rumour pans out then it is good news for Intel in terms of meeting demand and protecting their market share from an ascendant AMD. It won’t be good news for Intel profit margins, but on that front Intel might just have to suck it up and accept the consequences for getting into their current pickle.