Intel and Pentagon Partner to Advance Chip Manufacturing Under RAMP-C Initiative

Intel has announced a renewed partnership with the Pentagon, under the CHIPS Act-funded national security accelerator program, RAMP-C, to develop cutting-edge semiconductor technologies. This collaboration aims to produce initial test samples using Intel’s new 18A manufacturing process, marking a significant advancement in chip manufacturing technology typically only seen in Asia or Europe.

 

The upcoming phase three of the RAMP-C program will leverage Intel’s 18A process to create prototypes that are crucial for high-demand consumer processors used in computing and graphics applications. This technology is vital for both commercial and national security applications, involving key defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and Boeing, and tech giants like Microsoft, NVIDIA, and IBM.

 

Intel’s CEO, Patrick Gelsinger, has indicated that the 18A process is not only ahead of schedule but also showcases significant improvements in power management and efficiency, comparable to TSMC’s 2nm technology. With the 18A process effectively being marketed as 1.8nm, it represents a leap in enhancing the performance and power efficiency of chips.

 

The Pentagon, through its microelectronics engineering lead Dr. Dev Shenoy, anticipates showcasing prototypes of the 18A chips by 2025, with deployment in various applications expected to follow soon after. This initiative highlights a major stride in domestic chip production capabilities, aiming to bolster the U.S. position in global semiconductor manufacturing.