According to a press release, IC Insights points to Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona. This facility is currently a shell and was intended to have a built-out capacity of 40,000 300mm wafers per month.
Intel stated that it expects the facility to be used for manufacturing at the 10nm process node after first ramping and running 14nm production.
But IC Insights said that this does not make sense and Intel should consider another radical move and put the fab to use manufacturing ICs for another, possibly competing, company.
“It is no secret that Apple is looking to move some, if not eventually all, of its application processor production out of Samsung, its primary competitor in the smartphone and tablet markets. IC Insights estimated that Samsung produced about US$3.4 billion worth of processors for Apple on a foundry basis in 2013,” the report said.
While TSMC and Globalfoundries are expected to receive a portion of the Apple business at the 14nm process node, IC Insights believes that Intel finds itself in an enviable position of being able to secure a large portion of Apple's application processor business at the 10nm node using Fab 42.
“Since TSMC made it known that it was not interested in dedicating an entire fab to an individual company, Intel could score a big foundry production win by dedicating a large portion of Fab 42 entirely to Apple,” IC Insights said.
If Jobs’ Mob agreed to have Intel make its application processors at the 10nm node in Fab 42, it would gain access to the most leading edge processing technology in the world.
IC Insights said that Intel is approximately one year ahead of both Samsung and TSMC in IC process technology, an advantage that Apple could parlay into a significant performance advantage in both the tablet and smartphone market