Intel Corporation recently landed a U.S. Department of Defense contract which involves collaborating with the agency on advanced semiconductor packaging technology. The agreement is part of the military’s State-Of-The-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) technological development initiative.
The financial terms of Intel’s new contract have not been disclosed.
Details of Intel’s SHIP Contract
As part of their new deal, Intel will give the Defense Department access to its cutting-edge chip packaging technology. The Santa Clara, California-based corporation is also giving the military access to its packaging foundries in Arizona and Oregon. The agency will use its access to package its special-purpose chips with Intel’s silicon.
Intel explained it secured a SHIP contract because of its unparalleled domestic design and manufacturing capabilities.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) created the SHIP project in 2019 to bolster the Defense Department’s semiconductor resources. NSWC Crane believes partnering with elite U.S. chipmakers will help it achieve that goal. The agency expressed particular interest in crafting technology capable of powering next-generation weapon systems administered by autonomous artificial intelligence platforms.
Intel is shaping up to be a key player in the military’s technological enhancement program.
Last year, NSWC Crane awarded contracts to the chipmaker, Keysight Technologies, and Xilinx during the SHIP program’s first phase. Intel’s new pact with the government is part of the project’s second phase.
Good Timing for Intel
Intel landing a new, presumably large Defense Department contract comes at a pivotal time for the chipmaker. Although the corporation ranked as the world’s largest semiconductor firm during the first half of 2020, its position is at risk.
Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) recently outpaced the industry leader in terms of wafer production sophistication. In addition, its perennial rival Samsung has made heavy investments in extreme ultralight lithography (EUV) technology to expand its presence in the global semiconductor sector.
The manufacturer will need a lot of development capital to fend off its rivals, which its Defense Department deal provides. With its latest cash injection, the corporation can fund more research, hire more engineers, and build new foundries. Those additional resources will enable Intel to bring its commercial and consumer products to market on an expedited timeline.
As the global semiconductor sector has filled up with innovative vendors, Intel faces a heightened level of competition. But the company’s history of adaptability and newly secured contracts indicate it is up for the challenges presented by the contemporary marketplace.