According to Reuters, Intel and MediaTek announced on July 25 a strategic partnership to manufacture chips using advanced processes from Intel Foundry Services (IFS). This is one of the most significant deals Intel has announced since launching its foundry business early last year.

“That's a pretty big deal for us to engage a customer from Taiwan and them betting on us to grow and try this. And so this is a major anchor customer win,” said Randhir Thakur, president of Intel Foundry Services. In his view, winning MediaTek as a customer is a major victory for Intel.

There are doubts in the industry about whether Intel can complete the foundry business, but the deal with MediaTek shows that it is on the right path, and it also means that Intel's investment is paying off.

While Intel didn't say how many chips it would make for MediaTek, it said the first products would be in production within the next 18 to 24 months and would be built on a 16-nanometer process.

“As one of the world’s leading fabless chip designers powering more than 2 billion devices a year, MediaTek is a terrific partner for IFS as we enter our next phase of growth,” said IFS President Randhir Thakur. “We have the right combination of advanced process technology and geographically diverse capacity to help MediaTek deliver the next billion connected devices across a range of applications.”

NS Tsai, corporate senior vice president of Platform Technology & Manufacturing Operations at MediaTek, said, “MediaTek has long adopted a multi-sourcing strategy. We have an existing 5G data card business partnership with Intel, and now extend our relationship to manufacturing smart edge devices through Intel Foundry Services. With its commitment to major capacity expansions, IFS provides value to MediaTek as we seek to create a more diversified supply chain. We look forward to building a long-term partnership to serve the fast-growing demand for our products from customers across the globe.”