Intel wins second phase of contract to help Pentagon develop chips – Hardware

Intel has gained a second-phase contract in a project aimed at aiding the US armed service make additional advanced semiconductors within just the United States.

Underneath the project, Intel will assistance the armed service establish prototypes of chips making use of its semiconductor packaging technologies at factories in Arizona and Oregon.

The packaging technologies makes it possible for items of chips identified as “chiplets” from distinct suppliers to be merged into just one offer, aiding cram additional characteristics into a smaller concluded solution even though lowering its power usage.

“As additional and additional semiconductor production has moved offshore, the (Department of Defense) is very fascinated in ensuring that they have advanced microelectronics for national safety created right here in the US,” Bob Swan, Intel’s chief executive, informed Reuters in an job interview as he toured a lately done US$seven billion factory expansion in Arizona, in which Intel’s workforce totals twelve,000.

“As a US-based mostly enterprise, it really is vital to us to be equipped to deal with some of the basic worries that the US would have about obtain to these critical technologies going ahead,” he stated.

Intel declined to disclose a dollar figure for its part of the contract, which is getting overseen by the Naval Floor Warfare Center, Crane Division.

Intel gained element of the very first phase of the contract in 2019.

Intel’s get the job done with the Defense Department arrives as US officials concentrate on boosting domestic semiconductor production in response to the rise of China as a strategic competitor.

About 75 p.c of the world’s chipmaking capability is in Asia, with a lot of of the most advanced vegetation in Taiwan and Korea, within just the reach of the Chinese and North Korean militaries.

“I imagine just one of the spots in which we can have the most affect on China broadly is re-shoring microelectronics,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons consumer, informed the US Senate Armed Solutions Committee.

Intel is just one of three firms in the world that can make very advanced laptop chips.

The other two – Taiwan Semiconductor Producing Co (TSMC) and Samsung Electronics – have packaging technologies related to Intel’s.

But Intel has been operating on the technologies more time and can accomplish the get the job done in the United States, which the other two are unable to, stated Dan Hutcheson, chief executive officer of VLSI Study.

“You will find no just one else with the mix of technologies that they have in the United States,” he stated. “Packaging is a major gain for them.”

With Washington’s relations with Beijing at their worst in decades, US officials have cracked down on suppliers to Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies, with new principles on September fifteen barring most US firms from selling to the Chinese telecommunications large. Intel confirmed previous month that it has licenses to retain giving some solutions.

Swan stated that global industry obtain was “very vital” to aiding Intel produce the cash required to establish chip factories, identified as “fabs” in the sector.

“We make dollars, we acquire that dollars, and we reinvest predominantly right here, in fabs in the US and in exploration and development,” he stated.