Samsung and Intel have been fighting it out in the semiconductor manufacturing market over the crown of the largest fabricator of silicon chips for decades now. Samsung has been holding onto the title since the early 1990s now, but many reports claim that Intel will soon be taking it back. However, in a turn of events, Intel Visual Technologies Team boss, Raja Koduri was seen at a Samsung manufacturing plant in South Korea. This has inevitably sparked rumors that Intel might be entrusting the fabrication duties of its first proper discrete GPU architecture to Samsung.

To further fuel the rumors, this comes directly when Samsung has announced the completion of its 5nm EUV process. The new manufacturing technology is based on the extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) and similar to TSMC’s L6 is expected to provide a sizeable boost in performance compared to the 7nm node. Co-incidentally, just like TSMC, Samsung is also highlighting the fact that the chips designed for the latter can also be made using the 5nm process, otherwise known as 5LPE.

Samsung went a step further and announced that it had already shared the commercial samples of its 7LPP (7nm) chips to “interested parties” and initiated mass production of select designs early this year. This means that someone’s chips will be based on Samsung’s 7nm node. It can’t be AMD since they’re already partnered with TSMC, and it can’t be Apple or HiSilicon either. So either it’s NVIDIA or Intel or someone else.

Intel Xe

The fact the Raja Koduri was seen in Samsung’s South Korean plant right around the time these announcements came has set the rumor-mill spinning. There’s a possibility that it might just be a friendly visit, but that’s no fun. Given Intel’s difficulties in migrating to the 10nm process, and seeing as both AMD and NVIDIA will be leveraging the 7nm technology for their upcoming graphics processors, it only makes sense that team blue do the same. And since the company hasn’t announced any plans of developing its own 7nm chips, contracting Samsung for it isn’t that unlikely. We’ll let you know if anyone else pops up.

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