Intel Wins Pentagon Contract to Establish US Chip Manufacturing Ecosystem

Intel Foundry Services to lead a US Department of Defense chip manufacturing project. The company will work to establish a foundry ecosystem for chip design and manufacture within the United States.

Intel will be awarded the contract under the US Department of Defense’s RAMP-C project. This project was set up to facilitate the use of a US-based semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem to produce commercial chips needed, for example, for the Pentagon’s “critical systems.”

“The United States does not currently have access to US-based foundry technology that can meet the Department of Defense’s long-term needs for advanced microelectronics manufacturing,” the Pentagon’s project proposal reads. The RAMP-C project aims to change that.

Intel Foundry Services, Intel’s chip manufacturing division set up this year, will lead that initiative. For this, the company will collaborate with other companies in the chip sector, including IBM. The company also mentions Cadence and Synopsys, two companies that make software that is used to design chips. More companies are participating in the project, but they are not specifically mentioned in Intel’s press release.

The companies participating in the RAMP-C project must support the needs of the US government for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits. To do this, the companies need to establish an American semiconductor ecosystem for the design and production of chips. Test chips for this must be produced on Intel’s 18A process, which is planned for 2025.

The Pentagon has a total budget of $100 million for the RAMP-C project, Ars Technica also writes. However, it is unknown how much of that is destined for Intel; the company does not disclose the amount the chip manufacturer will receive for its participation in the project.

Intel has been investing in its position in the chip manufacturing sector for some time now. The company announced its IDM 2.0 strategy in March, with the manufacturer saying it would also produce chips for other companies. Intel is investing $20 billion in new chip factories in Arizona and is considering building even more American factories, which could cost up to $120 billion. At the same time, the chip giant plans to build a new factory in Europe, as part of EU ambitions to strengthen its position in the chip sector.

Fab 42 from Intel. Source: Intel Corporation

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