News hot off the wire is that Dr. Randhir Thakur, Director of Intel’s Foundry Services, is set to take up a position as Director of Tata Electronics, an Indian based company, part of the Tata Group.

Detailed at Mint, it has been reported that Dr. Thakur will join Tata Electronics. There has been some confusion in the press already reporting this story as to whether this is a full time role at Tata Electronics and if/when he will be transitioning to that role. InstaFinancials lists Dr. Thakur as an active director of Tata Electronics as of the 28th April, which is actually some months prior to today’s date, but he is still listed on Intel’s website (and on his personal LinkedIn page) as President of Intel Foundry Services.

We have confirmed with Intel that Dr. Thakur is still President of its new foundry division, and that the Director role at Tata is only a board position alongside his role at Intel.

Intel's IFS 2.0

Intel’s push into expanding its home-grown semiconductor business for external customer use was crystallized in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s IDM 2.0 project launched earlier this year. The third prong of the project is Intel’s Foundry Services (IFS), which was to be a separate entity alongside its main product lines in the balance sheet with its own revenue and metrics. Intel’s goal with IFS is to provide its semiconductor manufacturing facilities at scale to potential customers that typically rely on other companies, but this would also aim to assist Intel in developing its next gen process node technology.

Intel has announced several large expansion projects as part of its IDM 2.0 strategy, including $20 billion for two new production lines at its Arizona facility, $3.5 billion in new packaging production lines in New Mexico, and up to $120 billion on a ‘little city’ mega-fab with up to 8 production lines. Leading that project, as of March this year, is Dr. Randhir Thakur. Thakur was previously Intel’s Chief Supply Chain Officer since joining the company in November 2017, and his latest role as Director of Intel Foundry Services started in March 2021.

As for IFS customers, Intel has already announced Qualcomm for manufacturing on its 20A process node, and Amazon for packaging.

Partnerships

Tata bringing Dr. Thakur to the board of its Electronics division might be seen as a strategic benefit to Intel’s IFS vision, despite Tata Group operating mostly out of Asia. Tata Electronics is obviously eyeing a strategic goal of securing its own semiconductor supply chain for some of its businesses (such as its automotive brands), and this might involve partnership and collaboration with Intel. Back in June, Intel hired Hong Hao, who led Samsung’s North American Foundry Business, to ‘formulate business strategies and execute customer engagement plans’ inside Intel Foundry as a way to develop some of these customer engagements and outline potential markets. As IFS is planning to expand and secure customers long term, having Intel’s own employees within various key industry boards of directors might be a strategy to help boost the IFS balance sheet in the long term.

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  • WaltC - Monday, August 16, 2021 - link

    Boggles the mind to see just how much time Intel sat still doing almost nothing positive with the prodigious R&D expenditures it was reporting regularly, secure in the company-wide fantasy that no one was in a position to offer it any sort of competition in the server and consumer markets. All the while AMD was burning the midnight oil spending a comparative pittance on R&D right up until AMD zoomed past Intel like it was sitting still. Which it literally was. Intel's stock price is richly deserved--if anything, it should be less than what it is. Intel managed to lose the performance & process crown to AMD, and Apple as a customer, all at almost the same time. Now, all Intel can speak of is how much money it intends to spend to manufacture competitive products at some unknown point in the future. Intel has long self-organized as a monopoly business--it can no longer survive by doing so--its monopolist days are done. It is unknown if the company can make the long haul. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - link

    > Intel sat still doing almost nothing positive with the prodigious R&D
    > expenditures it was reporting regularly

    They didn't. They had Ice Lake SP ready to go for probably a couple years before the 10 nm fabs could handle a chip that large.

    Then, there was that whole Optane thing you might've heard about. That was not only R&D into hardware, but also the massive software overhauls needed to unleash the potential of NV DIMMs.

    They also churned out Cooper Lake, for CPU-based deep learning workloads, which I just learned that even Sapphire Rapids doesn't fully catch up to (still no AVX-512 BFloat16 support). I think that says something about when Cooper Lake was started.

    And, on the software side of things, they've been incredibly busy with oneAPI and deep learning software frameworks to support deep learning on CPUs, FPGAs, GPUs, and dedicated AI hardware.

    They also tried a failed push into datacenter networking, in case you forgot. There was that OmniPath 100 Gbps interconnect that had a CPU-direct connection in their original Purley platform.

    > Intel managed to lose ... Apple as a customer

    That was probably just a matter of time. x86 can't match ARM in mobile, and Apple seems to really like moving its key strategic suppliers in-house. They're rumored even to be building their own workstation GPU, so they can also evict AMD from their Power Mac lineup.

    > It is unknown if the company can make the long haul.

    It won't go quietly. They have been adapting, like by buying a bunch of AI hardware companies, MobilEye, and building their own GPUs. And don't forget Altera. They were rumored to be interested in buying SiFive, which is a big RISC V player. And this IFS business is a big deal.

    While I'm not sure they'll ever again be as dominant as they've been over the past decade, I'm sure they'll continue to be a force in shaping the computing industry.
    Reply
  • Tom Sunday - Friday, September 3, 2021 - link

    The Dr. Randhir Thakur Tata Group situation simply looks like a pure strategic benefit to Intel’s longer term goals and objectives. It’s also a good alliance and footprint move about getting production away from our so-called other Asian friends. Among other things of course. Besides Thakur is extremely well liked by the Intel senior exec-team not only because of his exemplary earlier ‘supply chain’ achievements, but also because of his personality traits, well known hands-on innovation, integrity and high intelligence. He currently holds over 300 patents. All said and done Intel naturally loves Tata’s various already existing important business diversities and entities coinciding well with its own corporate culture. After 2030, India is expected to be the most populous country in the world. Life is good! Reply

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