Question Intel Foundry Wins US DoD 'Foundry Eco-System' Business

Zucker2k

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2006
1,717
1,035
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I'm not surprised....

What’s New: The U.S. Department of Defense, through the NSTXL consortium-based S2MARTS OTA, has awarded Intel an agreement to provide commercial foundry services in the first phase of its multi-phase Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a U.S.-based commercial semiconductor foundry ecosystem to fabricate the assured leading-edge custom and integrated circuits and commercial products required for critical Department of Defense systems. Intel Foundry Services, Intel’s dedicated foundry business launched this year, will lead the work.

“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. Intel is the sole American company both designing and manufacturing logic semiconductors at the leading edge of technology. 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 in the U.S. government, and it is great to see that potential being fulfilled through programs like RAMP-C.”
–Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO
How It Works: Intel Foundry Services will partner with industry leaders, including IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others, to support the U.S. government’s needs for designing and manufacturing assured integrated circuits by establishing and demonstrating a semiconductor IP ecosystem to develop and fabricate test chips on Intel 18A, Intel’s most advanced process technology.
“The RAMP-C program will enable both commercial foundry customers and the Department of Defense to take advantage of Intel’s significant investments in leading-edge process technologies,” said Randhir Thakur, Intel Foundry Services president. “Along with our customers and ecosystem partners, including IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others, we will help bolster the domestic semiconductor supply chain and ensure the United States maintains leadership in both R&D and advanced manufacturing. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with the U.S. government as we deliver RAMP-C program milestones.”
Intel recently announced plans to become a major provider of U.S.-based capacity for foundry customers, including an investment of approximately $20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona. These fabs will provide committed capacity for foundry customers and support expanding requirements for Intel products.
Why It’s Important: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has recently sought to diversify its approach to securing advanced microprocessors by leveraging commercially available technologies developed by U.S. companies. Other than Intel, the majority of U.S.-based chip designers are fabless, which means they design and sell integrated circuits that are fabricated by contract manufacturers called foundries. Today, more than 80 percent of leading-edge manufacturing capacity is concentrated in Asia1, leaving the DOD with limited onshore access to foundry technology capable of meeting the country’s long-term needs for secure microelectronics. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a commercially viable onshore foundry ecosystem that will ensure DOD access to leading-edge technology, while allowing the defense industrial base to leverage the benefits of high-volume semiconductor manufacturing and design infrastructure of commercial partners like Intel.
 

KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
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Corporate welfare on an industrial scale.

Goal #1 for Intel Foundry Services accomplished, do they actually have any other goals, or was a big fat monthly DoD Welfare Check the sole purpose of all the foundry talk?
 

jpiniero

Lifer
Oct 1, 2010
11,521
3,155
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Aaaaand once again I'm grasping a moment to be thankful for not being a taxpayer in the United States of America.
You won't be when China takes over with armed autonomous drones (see https://www.anandtech.com/show/16904/hot-chips-2021-keynote-live-blog-skydio-and-autonomous-flight with a little imagination). I wouldn't want to bet on Intel actually delivering so it's going to end up being a gigantic waste but you can see why the DoD is intent on blowing tons of cash on US fabs.
 

lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
1,998
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You won't be when China takes over with armed autonomous drones (see https://www.anandtech.com/show/16904/hot-chips-2021-keynote-live-blog-skydio-and-autonomous-flight with a little imagination). I wouldn't want to bet on Intel actually delivering so it's going to end up being a gigantic waste but you can see why the DoD is intent on blowing tons of cash on US fabs.
I know you're kidding, but it's still even funnier, because... how would China taking over make me want to pay taxes to the US government? :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
 
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jpiniero

Lifer
Oct 1, 2010
11,521
3,155
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I know you're kidding, but it's still even funnier, because... how would China taking over make me want to pay taxes to the US government? :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
Only half joking and I guess in that case you'd be paying taxes to the Chinese Government? Frankly I'd bribe TSMC some more but throwing money at Intel hoping they don't give up (and they actually deliver) does make a little bit of sense given it's US owned.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,220
4,524
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If they don't get their act together it will be a descent into obsolescence/reliance on outdated technology.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
5,415
1,606
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So the US government is helping Intel get its monopoly back? The only way this is fair for business is if Intel spins off their fab
Yeah I feel this should have for health in the market of products Intel produces there should be a disconnect in either the money they got and their personal production facilities or a forced separation of their fabs in general (even allowing Intel to lock in a long term agreement with the foundry service with an allotment that accounts for most of their manufacturering capabilities. Because otherwise its a bunch of extra money for Intel to spend willy nilly on facilities used to compete with AMD and NVidia among others. If anything what Intel has done to limit everyone elses ability to run Foundries in the US (including a decade of absolute bullcrap that limited AMD's ability to expand their Foundries when they needed to and created an environment where AMD had to spin their Foundries out) that created this mess in the first place.
 

KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
727
277
136
Yeah I feel this should have for health in the market of products Intel produces there should be a disconnect in either the money they got and their personal production facilities or a forced separation of their fabs in general (even allowing Intel to lock in a long term agreement with the foundry service with an allotment that accounts for most of their manufacturering capabilities. Because otherwise its a bunch of extra money for Intel to spend willy nilly on facilities used to compete with AMD and NVidia among others. If anything what Intel has done to limit everyone elses ability to run Foundries in the US (including a decade of absolute bullcrap that limited AMD's ability to expand their Foundries when they needed to and created an environment where AMD had to spin their Foundries out) that created this mess in the first place.
On the other hand, Intel could spend this extra money on those things they have spent big over the last 10+ years:
  • Contra revenue
  • McAfee
  • failing to enter the 5G market
  • and so on.
Those actions mostly just hurt themselves though although I guess contra revenue's eventual aim is to deprive others of revenue.

As for US foundries: never mind all the other points. US foundries have one very largest and biggest number: as they measure their clean rooms in sq/ft!
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
19,366
8,145
136
The telecom and cable industry have been bilking the Feds for years on failed fibre rollouts. Intel wants the same treatment. Maybe Intel will actually do what they're being paid to do, or maybe they won't . . .but who will police their behavior? History tells us: no one.
 
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