Intel Pledges $1 Billion Chip Fund To Help Foundry Innovation Ecosystem

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As part of that announcement, Intel also became a premier member of RISC-V International

US-based chipmaker Intel has announced a new $1 billion fund to support early-stage startups and established companies building disruptive technologies for the foundry ecosystem.

The fund will prioritize investments in intellectual property (IP), software tools, innovative chip architectures and advanced packaging technologies. It is a collaboration between Intel Capital and Intel Foundry Services (IFS).

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Additionally, the chipmaker has also revealed that it is partnering with several companies aligned with this fund, helping them with design and validation of advanced chips on all major architectures, including x86, Arm, and RISC-V.

“Intel is joining forces with leading partners in the RISC-V ecosystem, including Andes Technology, Esperanto Technologies, SiFive and Ventana Micro Systems,” it said in a statement.

“Foundry customers are rapidly embracing a modular design approach to differentiate their products and accelerate time to market. Intel Foundry Services is well-positioned to lead this major industry inflection. With our new investment fund and open chiplet platform, we can help drive the ecosystem to develop disruptive technologies across the full spectrum of chip architectures,” said Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger.

As part of that announcement, Intel also became a premier member of RISC-V International, which oversees the design and direction of the open-source instruction set architecture.

The new innovation fund is created to strengthen the ecosystem with equity investments in disruptive startups; strategic investments to accelerate partner scale-up and; ecosystem investments to develop disruptive capabilities supporting IFS customers.

Intel has identified manufacturing as a priority for its future survival as Arm and RISC-V gain momentum in traditional x86 strongholds areas like servers.

The chip giant recently invested $20bn to open up fabs near Columbus, Ohio. It is also expanding manufacturing operations in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Ireland.

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