Intel signs agreement with the Department of Defense to support the national chip-building ecosystem

Intel has signed an agreement with the Department of Defense to support a domestic commercial chip building ecosystem. The chipmaker will lead the first phase of a program called Quick Guarantee Microelectronic Prototypes – Commercial (RAMP-C), which aims to strengthen the national semiconductor supply chain.

The recently launched division of chipmaker Intel Foundry Services will lead the program.

As part of RAMP-C, Intel will partner with IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others to establish a national commercial foundry ecosystem. Intel says the program was designed to create custom integrated circuits and commercial products required by Department of Defense systems.

“The RAMP-C program will enable commercial foundry customers and the Department of Defense to benefit from Intel’s significant investments in advanced processing technologies,” Randhir Thakur, president of Intel Foundry Services, said in a statement. . “Together with our customers and ecosystem partners, including IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others, we will help strengthen the national semiconductor supply chain and ensure that the United States maintains its leadership in Advanced R&D and manufacturing. “

Intel recently announced its intention to invest about $ 20 billion to build two new plants in Arizona, as it aims to become a major supplier for customers of domestic foundries. The company says factories will meet the increasing demands of its products.

The chipmaker’s partnership with the Department of Defense comes amid the current global semiconductor shortage, which is in part due to the pandemic and its impact on the global supply chain. The company is among other automotive and tech giants in ongoing talks with the White House on possible solutions for the shortage. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger met Biden administration officials last month discuss plans to build more chip factories and apply for grants.

In a new statement regarding RAMP-C, Gelsinger says that “one of the most profound lessons of the past year is the strategic importance of semiconductors and the value for the United States of having a strong domestic industry. semiconductors “.

“When we launched Intel Foundry Services earlier this year, we were excited to have the opportunity to make our capabilities available to a wider range of partners, including within the U.S. government, and that is great to see this potential being realized through programs like RAMP. -C, ”Gelsinger added.

Gelsinger came on board as CEO in January in an effort to turn around the chipmaker and pursue new chip manufacturing and sales strategies. A few months ago it was rumored that Intel was in talks to buy the chipmaker GlobalFoundries for $ 30 billion, but there was no news about it.

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