The semiconductor industry is one of the most competitive, complex, and highly regulated industries in the world today. With technology advances and new entrants in the market, this competition is only likely to increase in coming years.
In this article we will discuss some of the challenges of competing with two of the world’s largest semiconductor companies – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung. These companies, while having their own strengths, have come to dominate many segments of the semiconductor industry, leaving smaller suppliers with few options for gaining market share.
We will look at Intel’s response to these two behemoths as well as their strategies for managing both market share and technology development. We will then examine how Intel is attempting to fight off these two giants by recruiting executives from rival foundry companies and establishing their own advanced technologies such as 10nm Diamond Mesa platform with EMIB interposer technology.
Finally, we draw some conclusions about how Intel must continue to innovate and invest in order succeed in this dynamic global industry.
The Global Foundry Market
The global foundry market is extremely competitive and the fierce fight for market share intensifies by the day. Intel, TSMC, and Samsung are considered the ‘Big Three’ of the foundry market, with TSMC and Samsung dominating the market with their advanced processes and capabilities.
Simply put, it is hard for Intel to compete with these two companies in this highly competitive environment. To fight TSMC and Samsung, Intel has been hiring executives from their rivals in an attempt to get ahead.
Overview of the Global Foundry Market
The global foundry market refers to the business of companies dedicated exclusively to manufacturing semiconductor production for chipmakers (such as Intel, IBM, and Samsung) who don’t have the capacity to produce their own chips. The foundries provide services such as manufacturing process development and fabrication — creating orders on a contractual basis — as well as selling development tools, materials, and other related items.
As the industry leader, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has long held more than 50% of the global foundry market share. TSMC is currently responsible for producing cutting-edge 7nm chips in addition to more established leading-edge norms like 10nm and 14nm. In recent years, Samsung has begun to make up ground on TSMC in market share due largely to its ability to produce its own 5nm chips for its consumer electronic devices.
In order to fight against its rivals TSMC and Samsung, Intel recently reported that it had successfully hired executives from a number of leading competitors within the foundry market. By recruiting experts from both GlobalFoundries Inc. and UMC among others with strong R&D capabilities Intel is hoping to accelerate its own autonomous ability in advanced production processes over the course of 2021. This decision may prove a major challenge for TSMC and Samsung but entering into a highly competitive marketplace with profits determined by contract negotiation will certainly be no easy ride for Intel or any newcomer company in this sector.
TSMC and Samsung’s Dominance in the Market
TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) and Samsung are the two major players in the global foundry market, with their combined market share estimated to be as much as 75%. These tech giants have leveraged their overwhelming financial and technological resources to build advanced silicon fabrication facilities and lead the foundry market with their chips that are widely used across multiple markets, including smartphones, computers, gaming consoles and AI-powered robots.
Their expertise in creating sophisticated chipsets that are optimal for industrial application has led them to capture a sizable portion of the global chip market, particularly in 5G technology. Furthermore, TSMC is estimated to have over 50% of the total 7nm and 5nm process orders globally. This makes it difficult for other players in this sector to compete intending to create an efficient supply chain for production of intricate chips.
Intel has taken measures such as acquiring software tools and hiring executives from these rivals as part of its strategy ‘to fight’ TSMC and Samsung by equipping itself with new technologies that can help in producing useful chips on a competitive scale by 2021.
Intel’s process technology has long been their strength and in the past, their lead has been considerable. However, in recent years, the competition from TSMC and Samsung has grown exponentially, making the task of competing with them difficult for Intel.
As a response, Intel has hired executives from rivals in order to make up for the lost ground. In this article, we will discuss the challenges Intel faces when trying to keep up with its foundry rivals.
Intel’s Lack of Experience in the Foundry Market
Intel’s lack of experience in the foundry market is a major challenge for the company in its effort to compete with global foundry leaders, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung. Historically, Intel has had an edge in chip manufacturing process technology, while also leading in product design. However, it lacked the capacity, and therefore touts less experience in the foundry market than TSMC and Samsung.
Going up against these two leaders means Intel needed to step up its game. To fight these two rivals, Intel hired several executives from other foundry rivals to help out with operations at the company. Tina Arapostathis was previously the chief operating officer and senior vice president of Global Business at UMC; newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Michelle Johnston Holthaus is also a former UMC executive; former SMIC’s vice president Amir Faintuch was hired as co-general manager of Intel’s Technology Manufacturing Group; Robert Swan, who joined Intel from eBay Inc., will bring his expertise as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). With these new members now have many years’ working experience in the foundries industry, Intel has substantially increased its ability to compete with TSMC and Samsung.
Though this move consolidates a less experienced but powerful roster of internal candidates into positions in top management positions at Intel, there still remains much room for improvement such that they are able to survive toe-to-toe against their more experienced competitors – TSMC and Samsung – that hold a more established position on the global market.
To fight TSMC and Samsung, Intel hires execs from foundry rivals
Intel’s need to compete against the formidable market position of TSMC and Samsung has been a long-term challenge for the company. As these two foundries have continued to revolutionize semiconductor technology, Intel faces immense competition in both cost-efficiency and technological advancements. To fight its rivals, Intel has turned to executives from key foundry rivals as well as significant investments in specialized tools to remain competitive in the market.
In 2018, Intel hired Murthy Renduchintala -formerly a Qualcomm senior vice president to serve as automotive head. Later in the same year, Intel also brought on semi-conductor industry veteran Ann Kelleher – formerly GlobalFoundries’ Chief Technology Officer – as CTO of the technology and manufacturing group at Intel. These two hires signify Intel’s commitment to battle TSMC and Samsung directly rather than cede its place as a top chipmaker in an increasingly tech-driven world.
In addition, Intel has invested heavily in semiconductor tool companies such as ASML Holding’s EUV Tool Suite which allows for faster shift times when it comes to chip designs and cutting edge innovations such as 10nm technologies. The move allows for faster productions time for chips – allowing them to better compete with their foundry competitors who have a significant lead when it comes to cutting edge designs due their larger customer base and production volume systems which allow them bigger revenue margins on research and development investments from both consumer demand volume placements on models using latest product designs incorporating specialties such as deep learning/neural networks hereon referred generically ad AI technologies from smartphone models all the way up into enterprise computing architectures tailored towards intelligent applications under usage scenarios beyond consumer uses allowing for quicker integrations of new innovations being able innovators within the user community worldwide.
Investing heavily in specialized tools is another way that Intel is staying ahead of its competitors by ensuring they keep current with latest trends within their respective industries while also investing effectively while still driving maximum results through research they are able implement with their latest innovations ambitiously keeping consistency between their various product lines across multiple industries around world market demand areas within both private use cases targeting consumers or public sector institutions fueling along standards critical areas from stem education initiatives down space programs supervised under general categories relevant across respective governmental worker unions located respectively throughout global territories institutionalized by designed agencies recommending policy guidelines concerning research projects conducted through dedicated teams assigned alongside civil engineering divisions coming together report any unexpected outcomes identified during initialization stages one need first use caution during prospected ventures if primary findings suggest possible redundancies related secondary indications otherwise upon realization not meeting predetermined thresholds aligning considered launch criteria verify data separately individually collected phase end utilized demonstrate collected points prove key founding details wrote original documentation response test validating results obtained exercise indicate uncertainty complete risk free standing operations possible certifying body authorization necessary procure safe passage transaction occur smoothness any delays cause stall point timeline double check considered protocols observe safety regulations validating before success journey continues throughout tendered process going forward self establish parameters preplanned expectations finalized before beginning location designated intent remaining absolute clearance given formal council oversight put plan motion successfully attention needed verifying each point detail time efficient manner deems pertinent course communication channels opened ensuring further inquiries open accessible streamlined listed entire project clarify details causes overall confidence levels grow company staff personnel continue working ascertain projected timeframe complete abiding paperwork filing corporate endorsed departments establish safeguard plans entirety should sort preparation methodologies taken into actual expedited calculated command based forming partnerships joining efforts build independent blueprint confirming outcome achievable long run standard fixed pertaining agree unanimous decision voted maximize optional paths reach end fulfilled goals sought pursue enjoy seamless transition mission target achieved thanks enduring effort team members predict potential pitfalls seek prepare venture should move steadily providing adequate resources carry though schedule estimated completion tasked wrapped predetermined period.
Intel is taking proactive steps to combat TSMC and Samsung’s dominance in the foundry business. The company has hired executives from both of its rivals to lead the charge in the foundry arena. Intel is also investing in new technologies to compete with TSMC and Samsung.
In this article, we will explore the challenges Intel faces and the steps they are taking to fight their competitors.
Intel’s Strategy to Hire Executives from Foundry Rivals
In order to more effectively compete with rivals TSMC and Samsung, Intel announced in early May 2021 that it had hired executives from their foundry rivals with the view of growing its own manufacturing capabilities. As Intel’s x86 processor technology has been losing market share to the rivals, Intel has turned to hiring personnel from both companies in an effort to level out the playing field.
The hiring spree brought in key positions of executive vice president of Design Engineering and Chief Manufacturing Officer, among several other senior management postings. Jim Keller, who was formerly at AMD, took up the role as Executive Vice President Design engineering of the company. Mike Mayberry was hired as Senior Vice President Technology group. The breadth and depth of their experience within semiconductor fabrication will be invaluable to Intel’s endeavors.
By having senior staff from its competitors joining its ranks, Intel aims to rapidly increase its integrated device manufacturing abilities by leveraging the expertise that already exists from within these two competitive firms. Given this newfound knowledge, Intel stands a better chance at successfully manufacturiing 5nm processors for upcoming product releases in 2022-2023 which will utilize this advanced ocmponents.
With a larger team of skilled employees supporting Intel’s efforts in chip design and iteration, there’s hope that it can more effectively differentiate itself by introducing differentiated designs while continuing to minimize energy expenditure during fabrication processes compared to its production-savvy rivals.
Intel’s Plan to Invest in Foundry Technologies
To compete with foundry rivals TSMC and Samsung, Intel has been investing in expanding its foundry business. This includes research & development (R&D) and capital expenditures (CapEx) to bring new technologies to market. Intel has also hired executives from the two companies to bolster their efforts in this space.
Intel’s R&D investments in foundries have focused mainly on increasing the transistor density of chips, which allows for more performance per watt, as well as improved performance at lower power levels. The company is also focused on boosting yields for chip producers and reducing the cost of manufacturing.
In addition to these R&D investments, Intel is also investing heavily in capital expenditures on building new fabrication plants and partnering with other chip makers to improve yield rates. By investing both money and talent into the foundry technology market, Intel hopes to build a strong portfolio of offerings that can help them compete against existing leaders in the field such as TSMC and Samsung.
Intel’s plan is ambitious yet needed given their current position in the semiconductor market; however only time will tell if they can succeed where others have failed before them.