FPGA maker Tabula is the first to have its chips produced on Intel's 22nm process technology. Interestingly, it appears Intel's foundry business is not a move to increase the company's revenue and consume excess production capacity, but rather a way for the chip giant to learn about making different kinds of processors.
While dedicated foundry firms like TSMC and GlobalFoundries build chips to order for multiple customers, Intel has traditionally reserved its fabrication capacity for its own products. Recently, though, the company has been taking on clients for a new Custom Foundry group. The latest one is FPGA design firm Tabula, whose next-generation chip will be built using the same 22-nm 3D transistor technology as Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs. Tabula joins Achronix, another FPGA design firm, on the list of customers for Intel's latest transistor tech. The group is reportedly working with a number of other companies, too, but that those folks aren't ready to announce their plans just yet.