Qualcomm said earlier this month that it thinks it can beat Apple Silicon, and now Intel has made the same claim – thanks to a combination of new technology and rebranding.

Intel said that it expects to take the lead by 2025 …

Reuters reports.

Intel for decades held the lead in technology for manufacturing the smallest, fastest computing chips.

But Intel has lost that lead to TSMC and Samsung, whose manufacturing services have helped Intel’s rivals Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia produce chips that outperform Intel’s. AMD and Nvidia design chips which then are made by the rival chip manufacturers, called foundries.

Intel said on Monday it expects to regain its lead by 2025 and said it had five sets of chipmaking technologies it will roll out over the next four years.

Top of the list, says Intel, is to start directly printing circuits onto chips.

It will tap a new generation of machines from the Netherlands’ ASML that use what is called extreme ultraviolet lithography, which projects chip designs onto silicon somewhat like printing an old-fashioned photograph.

The company didn’t say much more in terms of tech developments, but apparently thinks a rebranding of chip names will help.

Intel also said it will change its naming scheme for chipmaking technology, using names like “Intel 7” that align with how TSMC and Samsung market competing technologies.

In the chip world where smaller is better, Intel previously used names that alluded to the size of features in “nanometers”. But over time the names used by chipmakers became arbitrary marking terms, said Dan Hutcheson, chief executive of VLSIresearch, an independent semiconductor forecasting firm. This, he said, gave the mistaken impression that Intel was less competitive.

Qualcomm’s own claim was based on its hiring of a team of chip architects who formerly worked on Apple Silicon, including former A-series chip lead Gerard Williams. It did this indirectly, by acquiring the startup company they founded in a $1.4B deal.

Market intelligence firm Strategy Analytics, meantime, pointed out that Apple currently dominates the tablet app processor market, with a 59% market share compared to Intel’s 14% and Qualcomm’s 10%.

Photo: Niek Doup/Unsplash

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Ben Lovejoy

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