During a telematic assembly of Jensen Huang with international media, which was attended by Diario TI, the CEO of NVIDIA answered a question about the alternatives to TSMC and Samsung, the current manufacturers of NVIDIA products, “now that the world is not being more sure”.
Huang said, “NVIDIA’s strategy is to broaden our supply base with redundancy diversity at every layer. The chip layer, the substrate layer, the assembly layer, the system layer, all the layers. We have diversified the number of nodes and the number of providers. Intel is an excellent partner of ours. Your CPUs are what we use for all of our accelerated computing platforms. When we pioneer new systems – like we just did with the Omniverse computer – we partner with them. Our engineers collaborate closely. They are interested in us using their factories and we are very interested in exploring it.”
Huang clarified that a manufacturer change was not a decision that could be made in the short term and certainly not implemented in the short term, thus dampening expectations of quick announcements. Moreover, Intel’s third-party manufacturing ambitions are nascent and competing with the world’s number 1, TSMC, will not be easy.
On this point, Huang said, “We are very interested in exploring it [cooperation with Intel], but being a factory of the caliber of TSMC is not for the faint of heart. It is about a change, not only of processes, technology and capital investment, but a change of culture. From a product and technology oriented company to a product, technology and service oriented company, a company that truly blends in and dances with your operations. TSMC dances with the operations of some 300 companies around the world. Each of our operations is an entire orchestra and yet they dance with us. And TSMC does it brilliantly. Not to mention its management, its culture, its core values. And they do it in addition to technology and products. I am encouraged by the work being done at Intel. I think that is a direction that they have to follow and we are interested in seeing the technology of processes”.
Intel aspires to be like TSMC
Intel has been pursuing two goals in microprocessor manufacturing for years: One is to make its manufacturing the most contemporary in the world again, and the other is to make it available not only to its own products, but also to outside customers. By selling its own manufacturing technology to third parties, Intel could not only significantly increase the group’s sales, but also make greater investments in facilities and technologies, which would benefit its long-term competitiveness and viability.
Intel has invested heavily in the expansion and development of its factories. Notwithstanding, to become a big contract manufacturer, it still lacks big customers. A company like NVIDIA, which needs millions of chips, is a brilliant fit for such a goal. For its part, NVIDIA would benefit from having an alternative or, in the words of Jensen Huang, to diversify redundancy.
In the past, Intel did not have the technology to do this and did not pursue the goal of making its own production available to outside customers. Such philosophy has radically changed. In the end, the relevant question is whether the processes offered will be able to meet the expectations of customers like NVIDIA. Otherwise, Jensen Huang is unlikely to commission Intel to fabricate his GPUs in the future.
Hector Pizarro, Diario TI
Illustration: Screenshot, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang speaking with the media on March 23.