Intel to Buy eASIC

Posted by Kyle 2:50 PM (CDT)

Thursday July 12, 2018

Intel is buying another Santa Clara chipmaker, eASIC. eASIC builds programmable chips for its customers, something which Intel moved into with its acquisition of Altera Corp in 2015. 120 people from eASIC will join Intel's current programmable solutions group. This purchase should allow Intel customers to custom tailor a chip's programming at the factory. This could allow a much faster path to a custom Application-Specific Integrated Circuit than a company doing it on their own.

"Instead of getting programmed in the field, it gets programmed in the factory," Dan McNamara, who heads Intel’s programmable solutions group, told Reuters in an interview. "It still costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, but you get it done in four months as opposed to two years."

While Intel designs all of current programmable chip lineup, it uses its own foundries to physically manufacture the most advanced models but Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330.TW) for lower-end ones, McNamara said. The chips from eASIC are currently manufactured by TSMC and GlobalFoundries, he said, but no decisions have been made about whether Intel will start manufacturing eASIC’s chips.