Intel creating $1B foundry business to support disruptive tech

a close up shot of a render of an Intel Alchemist GPU
(Image credit: Intel)

Investment in the semiconductor industry during the shortage continues to ramp up. Recently we've had governing bodies like the United States dedicate money and resources (opens in new tab) to boosting the industry in their respective regions. Companies like Intel have been hard at work building and opening new factories (opens in new tab), and now it's announced an additional $1 billion investment to invest in more than just the future of silicon.

According to Benchlife (opens in new tab), Intel plans to invest in disruptive technologies for the foundry ecosystem. The priority sounds similar to what’s outlined in Europe’s recent Act (opens in new tab) in that it’s all about accelerating the time it takes to design, manufacture, and get products to market. 

This is in partnership between Intel Capital and Intel Foundry Services, the latter of which the company established as a part of its current strategy to meet global demands. Part of the goal is to work with an open chip platform and use modular products for multiple architectures, including x86, Arm, and RISC-V.  

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RISC-V (opens in new tab) is a free and open Instruction Set Architecture run by the non profit organisation RISC-V International. The association is global and works with multiple different companies and industries. A few examples of the premier members are Google, Huawei, Western Digital, and now of course, Intel. Due to the open and accessible nature of RISC-V, it’s available to everyone, potentially opening up Intel’s fabs to a bunch of new prospects. 

“Intel is pleased to join the community in RISC-V International,” said IFPs VP of customer solutions engineering, Bob Brennan Brennan in the RISC-V press release (opens in new tab). “A rich open source software and hardware ecosystem is critical for accelerating the growth and adoption of RISC-V and fully unlocking value for chip designers. Intel is delighted to support the growth of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. We look forward to optimising IP for Intel process technologies to ensure that RISC-V runs best on IFS silicon across all types of cores, from embedded to high-performance.”

Having a powerhouse like Intel join the RISC-V as premier member is a pretty big deal for the platform. Depending on the level of membership, this could give Intel a board seat. Given RISC-V is all in the spirit of collaborative processor innovation this could spell huge changes for the future development of semiconductors all over the world. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.