Intel wins a US Department of Defense tender for semiconductor manufacturing. The American giant is making its way, even towards Europe
In the race for semiconductors, the Pentagon chooses Intel. In fact, the Intel Foundry Services division of the giant led by Pat Gelsinger, born earlier this year, was commissioned by the United States Department of Defense to provide commercial manufacturing services as part of the first phase of a larger program, called RAMP-C and estimated at $ 320 million, designed to strengthen the national design and production of chips. In other words, Intel, which heads the consortium, will include IBM, Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems, among others.
As the Wall Street Journal, Intel’s entry into the Pentagon program comes as the Biden administration is faced with a global shortage of semiconductors which in recent days has been forcefully revealed with the announcements of production cuts by two automotive giants like Toyota and Volkswagen. In the budget allocated by the defense administration for fiscal year 2022, there is also a request of $ 2.3 billion to support the chip industry, which is believed to be crucial for long-term national security.
That of microchips is one of the most important challenges facing Gelsinger, who returned in February at the helm of Intel after 12 years. In the United States, but not only. In fact, his projects involve an investment of 20 billion dollars for the construction of two new factories in Arizona. The plans also include a semiconductor assembly plant that the American giant Intel would like to open in Europe, demonstrating the will to bring back a critical production in which the West was a leader but which then left to the East (the South Korean Samsung is first in the world for revenues).
“One of the most important lessons of the past year is the strategic importance of semiconductors and the value for the United States of having a strong domestic industry,” said Gelsinger. “When we launched Intel Foundry Services earlier this year, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to make our capabilities available to a wider range of partners, including the US government, and it’s great to see that potential it is being realized through programs such as RAMP-C ”.
The Wall Street Journal points out that Gelsinger and other board members met with members of the Biden administration in July to discuss their plans but also to support the reasons for applying for government subsidies.
This latter element also appears when one thinks of Intel’s future European factory for which Italy is also in the running (with France, Germany and Spain). It is enough to take up what the Minister for Economic Development said a few weeks ago Giancarlo Giorgetti launching the candidacy of Turin: I am convinced, he explained, that “there may also be the go-ahead from Italy to state investment for over 8 billion”. Words that were paired with those, addressed in particular to the European Commission, pronounced at the informal Council on Competitiveness in Ljubljana: “We need a reflection on the compatibility between technological sovereignty and state aid”.