Intel Foundry Services wins Pentagon contract for US-made chips

Daniel Sims

Posts: 106   +5
Staff
In context: Intel announced today that its recently launched foundry business won a contract from the Department of Defense to provide foundry services in its efforts to start domestically manufacturing advanced semiconductors for its systems. This move should boost Intel's attempts to compete in semiconductor manufacturing against its Asian rivals.

This contract is for the first phase of Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C), which is what the DoD calls its new program to develop systems using American-made chips. Intel Foundry Services is leading the project but will work alongside other companies, including IBM, Cadence, and Synopsys.

Intel started Intel Foundry Systems back in March, and earlier this month, let slip a few more details about its intentions to spend between $60 billion and $120 billion to build a new mega-fab in the US. It is currently considering multiple locations across the country for the mega-fab. In the coming years, Intel wants to directly compete with the Taiwanese TSMC and South Korean Samsung, which currently sit at the bleeding edge of semiconductor manufacturing, making most of the world's advanced semiconductors.

"One of the most profound lessons of the past year is the strategic importance of semiconductors, and the value to the United States of having a strong domestic semiconductor industry," said Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, referring to how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed vulnerabilities in global supply chains.

This is evidenced by the semiconductor shortage, which affects the manufacturing of everything from cars to computers to game consoles. "Intel is the sole American company both designing and manufacturing logic semiconductors at the leading edge of technology," Gelsinger added.

One of those vulnerabilities has been the semiconductor industry's overreliance on Samsung, particularly TSMC, to produce chips with the most advanced processor nodes. The potential to have an American company produce similar semiconductors in the US has obvious appeal for the DoD.

Permalink to story.

 

Irata

Posts: 1,725   +2,893
Excellent - corporate socialism. It‘s great to see the government supporting a company that eliminated competition and then took it easy while padding their margins.

That approach unfortunately does not work in a free market as it gives better players the opportunity to pull ahead but getting handouts will surely fix this for Intel.

I understand the strategic importance of having fabs, but maybe investing in an independent fab on US soil (one of Intel‘s victims) would have been a better approach.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Excellent - corporate socialism. It‘s great to see the government supporting a company that eliminated competition and then took it easy while padding their margins.

That approach unfortunately does not work in a free market as it gives better players the opportunity to pull ahead but getting handouts will surely fix this for Intel.

I understand the strategic importance of having fabs, but maybe investing in an independent fab on US soil (one of Intel‘s victims) would have been a better approach.
Your perception of reality is laughable.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,226   +6,981
I just want them held to their promises, the contract, and the delivery schedules ..... and do so with significant penalties if they fail .... no excuses, perform or perish.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,864   +796
Now Global Foundries needs a contract. The capital infusion might actually help them develop future chips like they should have been able to do.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,864   +796
This contract also makes sense, because if tensions rise between China and Taiwan, you can bet production at TSMC could be affected.
This contract also makes sense, because if tensions rise between China and Taiwan, you can bet production at TSMC could be affected.
And if China takes over TSMC, the IP's available to them would give them an excellent advantage. May had been the goal all along. Just enough autonomy and capitalism to bring in international IPs and then pounce on all that technology when the time is right.