Intel could start producing in-demand semiconductors for automotive companies in six to nine months, CEO Pat Gelsinger said in an interview with Reutersand notes that chip making is already being discussed with companies that design automotive chips.
“We hope some of these things can be alleviated, as it doesn’t require three or four years of factory build-up, but maybe six months of new products being certified for some of our existing processes,” Gelsinger told Reuters“We’ve already started those deals with some of the major component suppliers.”
Even if Intel is unable to meet that six to nine month goal, the news highlights the importance Intel attaches to its new company as a producer of chips for other companies.
Gelsinger last month unveiled the new company – called Intel Foundry Services – as a “standalone foundry business unit” during its “Engineering of the futureAnnouncement, promising that the company would put its factories to work producing x86, Arm and RISC-V core chips for external customers. As part of that announcement, Intel also planned to invest $ 20 billion in expanding its Arizona factories to better meet demand from outside partners.
The automotive industry is one of the areas hardest hit by the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, with car companies such as Ford and GM forced to shut down production or make changes to their trucks due to a lack of parts. If Intel is able to produce auto chips within a year, it could provide much-needed new supply to alleviate those shortages.
The global deficit has reached the point where the Biden administration wants to intervene: the president has called for a semiconductor supply chain overhaul in an executive order and has hosted executives from companies including Intel, Google, Ford, GM, TSMC and Dell at the White House for today’s CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience.
“We have fallen behind in research and development and manufacturing, and, to put it bluntly, we need to step up our game,” Biden said at the meeting.