RAMP-C Program on Intel 18A Adds 2 Strategic Defense Industrial Base Customers

Boeing and Northrop Grumman join phase two of the Department of Defense’s RAMP-C program, designed to enable a leading-edge U.S. foundry ecosystem on Intel 18A for commercial and government customers.

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  • July 18, 2023

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What’s New: Intel Foundry Services is onboarding two new defense industrial base (DIB) customers, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, as part of phase two of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)’s Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program. In phase two of the RAMP-C program, customers will use Intel 18A process technology and industry-standard electrical design and analysis tools and intellectual property (IP) to develop, tape-out and fabricate test chips in preparation for product design tape-outs.

“We are pleased to welcome Boeing and Northrop Grumman to the RAMP-C program. Boeing and Northrop Grumman will use their industry expertise to develop and support leading-edge semiconductor solutions using Intel 18A process technology for the success of vital DoD and national security systems. Together, we will continue to bolster the domestic semiconductor supply chain and ensure that the United States maintains leadership in process technology R&D, advanced manufacturing and microelectronics systems.”

–Kapil Wadhera, vice president of Intel Foundry Services and general manager of Foundry Solutions Business Group

Why It’s Important: The RAMP-C program enables a U.S.-based commercial semiconductor foundry ecosystem to fabricate leading-edge custom integrated circuits and commercial products required for critical DoD systems.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman join the current lineup of RAMP-C customers – Nvidia, Qualcomm, Microsoft and IBM – and will work closely with Intel and its ecosystem partners, Cadence and Synopsys, to enable access to state-of-the-art technologies that help protect U.S. national security.

The program allows both commercial foundry customers and the DoD to utilize Intel’s significant investments in leading-edge process technologies, including Intel 18A, and establishes an ecosystem for commercial and government customers. Intel 18A process development continues on track and RAMP-C customers are developing test chips.

About Intel’s Role with DoD Programs: Intel is partnering with the DoD on three separate programs that aim to strengthen the U.S. government’s microelectronics supply chain and accelerate U.S. leadership across the full spectrum of integrated circuit design, manufacturing and packaging. These programs include RAMP, RAMP-C and SHIP.

DoD announced the RAMP program in 2020 to develop a secure design and prototyping capability to demonstrate how the DoD can securely leverage state-of-the-art microelectronics technologies from industry without depending on a closed security architecture fabrication process or facility. Microsoft is the prime contractor, and Intel provides foundry services on Intel 16 process technology.

DoD awarded Intel the second phase of its State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) program, and Intel delivered the first multi-chip package prototypes to BAE Systems in April 2023. The SHIP program enables the U.S. government to access Intel’s U.S. advanced semiconductor packaging capabilities to develop new approaches toward measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and testing of advanced packaging solutions.

More Context:  Intel Wins US Government Project to Develop Leading-Edge Foundry Ecosystem