The Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program was created to provide the capability for leading-edge ICs to be designed and manufactured in the US for Department of Defense systems.
The financial support being provided by the US government was not disclosed but Intel Foundry Services will lead the project partnering with IBM, Cadence, Synopsys and others to establish the design and manufacturing ecosystem. It will be demonstrated by developing and fabricating test chips on the Intel 18A manufacturing process (see Intel renames manufacturing nodes, tips RibbonFET, PowerVia ). The 18A process – with A standing for angstrom – is in development for delivery in 2025.
"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," said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, in a statement. "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."
Intel recently announced plans for an investment of about $20 billion to build two wafer fabs in Arizona (see Intel to build two wafer fabs, be foundry for Europe ). These fabs will provide manufacturing capacity for foundry customers and for Intel's own products.
In 2020 Intel was awarded the second phase of its State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) program. Under this scheme Intel is expected to develop approaches to the heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions – otherwise known as chiplet assembly. SHIP will be applicable to the integrated circuits designed in RAMP and fabricated through RAMP-C.
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