By Stefani Munoz, EETimes (February 9, 2022)
Intel continues to expand its IDM 2.0 strategy, unveiling a $1 billion investment fund supporting technology development that could be integrated into Intel’s foundry ecosystem. Intel also moved this week to increase its presence in the nascent RISC-V market.
After announcing plans to invest $20 billion to construct two new chip factories in Ohio, Intel is expanding efforts to become a leading U.S. chip foundry via its ecosystem investments and closer ties with RISC-V developers. The chipmaker’s innovation fund, a collaboration between Intel Capital and Intel Foundry Services (IFS), will invest in efforts to advance intellectual property, software tools, chip architectures and advanced packaging. The goal is accelerating development to reduce the time needed to introduce new processors.
Intel’s fund also underscores IFS’s broader goal of embracing multiple instruction set architectures beyond x86, including Arm and RISC–V, thereby attracting fabless companies as it competes against foundry giants Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung.
Intel’s pivot also reflects growing adoption of RISC-V designs. To that end, Intel announced partnerships with RISC–V developers, including Andes Technology, Esperanto Technologies, SiFive and Ventana Micro Systems. The chipmaker also will join RISC–V International, a global nonprofit based in Switzerland.