Intel is launching a fund to invest in technologies and companies that can aid its foundry business to shorten the time it takes to bring new processors to the market. To facilitate the initiative, the company is setting aside $1 billion.
The project is a collaboration between Intel’s venture capital unit and its recently launched IFS (Intel Foundry Services) business. IFS will use Intel’s semiconductor fabs to make processors for other companies using their custom designs. The new $1-billion fund forms part of a wider strategy to grow IFS.
System-on-package is on the way
Alongside the fund’s announcement, Intel also detailed new collaborations with some of the chip industry’s players. It also indicated that IFS is developing an open chiplet platform in partnership with several cloud providers.
The new fund will primarily focus on a chip design concept known as system-on-package, where a processor combines several different types of computing modules in one product. A processor of that design would, for instance, carry both the central processing unit cores and a graphics processing unit.
The concept shares the philosophy of SOCs (systems-on-chip) that power smartphones today with some differences.
The reinvention of Intel
SOCs are designed to be on a single silicon die. However, the system-on-package would have multiple, but separate silicon dies linked together. Intel and other major players in the chip market are adopting the new approach to simplify the manufacturing process.
The system-on-package technology is crucial for Intel’s plan for IFS and the newly announced fund. The company’s vision entails working with customers to make system-on-package processors. The company’s focus is on use cases that include making products that use the RISC-V instruction set architecture, among other plans.