Intel to the rescue?
Technology giant Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said the company is talking to semiconductor suppliers that serve the auto industry to facilitate the manufacturing of those chips inside Intel’s factory network.
Reuters reported the goal is for Intel to produce chips within six to nine months and alleviate the adverse effects of chip shortages in the automotive sector.
Gelsinger told the news agency that discussions with chipmakers are already taking place and that the timeline would entail “maybe six months of new products being certified on some of our existing processes” rather than a more usual three- or four-year factory build.
“We’ve begun those engagements already with some of the key components suppliers,” Gelsinger told Reuters.
Gelsinger’s remarks follow a meeting between auto industry representatives, chip producers and White House officials yesterday (12 April) to discuss the semiconductor shortage in the US.
Technology giant Intel is one of the few companies capable of designing and manufacturing its own semiconductor chips and related products. A shortage of critical semiconductor products has disrupted vehicle assembly lines at a number of companies, including Ford and General Motors. Concerns have also been raised about the potential longer term impact of chip shortages on US companies’ international competitiveness.
Reuters reported that Gelsinger did not name the component suppliers involved in the discussions for chip supply but said that the work could take place at Intel’s factories in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Israel or Ireland.
In a statement issued after yesterday’s Washington meeting, the White House said participants discussed the importance of encouraging additional semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States to “make sure we never again face shortages”.