Skip to main content

Intel’s $1 billion investment may bring next-level computing

Intel has just announced that it has launched a $1 billion fund in order to support disruptive technologies for its foundry ecosystem. As part of this new mission, Intel has partnered with RISC-V, a free and open-source standard instruction set architecture (ISA).

As the ongoing chip shortage continues to disrupt markets all over the world, Intel’s investment couldn’t have come at a better time. The question is, what are Intel’s plans and what can it do for the state of the industry at large?

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger holding a chip.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

The tech giant has announced this huge investment on its website, stating that the new fund will be used to strengthen its current foundry business and accelerate the adoption of disruptive technologies. It seems that Intel’s goal is to tick several boxes at once: Adopting new technologies could open the door to new computing capabilities, and expanding its foundry ecosystem could certainly help at a time like this when chips are scarce. The investment was made possible due to a partnership between Intel Capital and Intel Foundry Services.

In order to achieve these goals, Intel has made an investment and joined RISC-V as a new partner. As mentioned above, RISC-V is an architecture run by a nonprofit organization of almost the same name: RISC-V International. Unlike many other architectures, RISC-V is open-source, making it more accessible — and this could be a good thing for Intel’s future partnerships with other technologies.

Intel is hoping to use modular products that feature an open chiplet platform, focusing on design approaches that utilize multiple ISAs, including x86, ARM, and RISC-V. The goal is to spread the support of disruptive technologies to all kinds of chip architectures. The company is focusing on RISC-V in particular, highlighting that it hopes to drive the adoption of this architecture. Intel certainly seems to have big plans for RISC-V.

An engineer smiles as she holds up two processor chips.

Bob Brennan, vice president of customer solutions engineering at Intel Foundry Services, said in a press release: “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 optimizing 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.”

Another goal on Intel’s list is to improve the time it takes to design and manufacture new products, as well as how long it takes to get them to market. This, combined with the new partnership with RISC-V, could mean good things for the industry as a whole. If Intel is successful, it could perhaps manufacture new chips faster than ever, and these chips could feature improved architectures.

For the end user, Intel’s $1 billion investment may not mean much, but in time, this could be yet another piece in this large puzzle that many tech giants are working to solve. Although the chip shortage still affects users all over the world, investments such as this may bring us one step closer to a time when computing is made accessible again. Intel continues taking steps toward meeting the growing demand, including by working on its own ARM competitor.

Editors' Recommendations

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
Intel Alder Lake-P may be almost 50% faster than the Apple M1 Max
Intel unveils the 12th Gen Intel Core processor

Intel Alder Lake for desktops has been performing well, and many are waiting for the mobile version to release, especially on the heels of Apple's new MacBook Pros.

While there are no Alder Lake-based laptops out yet, the first benchmarks have already started popping up. Nearly all of the tests show favorable results for the upcoming 12th generation of Intel's CPUs against some of its most important rivals.

Read more
Intel is making its own ARM competitor to fight Nvidia and Apple
Intel Quark SoC X1000.

Intel is working on a new SoC (system on a chip) that will compete with the ARM-based designs that have dominated the mobile market for several years. Through a partnership with fabless chip designer SiFive, Intel is licensing IP to create its own 64-bit SoC that's built on its 7nm node.

Last week, Intel announced a partnership with SiFive for its upcoming Horse Creek platform. Intel is using SiFive's P550 core for the Horse Creek design, which is SiFive's "highest performance processor" available. Intel said it will be incorporating its own IP, including DDR and PCIe, into the design.

Read more
A $1 billion investment will bring more EV charging stations to rural America
ChargePoint an NATSO to spend $1 billion on electric car charging

Lack of charging stations remains one of the biggest obstacles to widespread adoption of electric cars, but two companies are planning to spend $1 billion to help address that shortage. Charging station operator ChargePoint and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) plan to add charging stations at 4,000 sites in the U.S. While most charging infrastructure initiatives focus on heavily traveled corridors between major cities, ChargePoint and NATSO plan to focus on rural areas.

The agreement between ChargePoint and NATSO calls for charging stations to be installed at the 4,000 sites by 2030. At this point, the companies have only gone as far as signing a memorandum of understanding, so no actual work has started yet.

Read more