RAMP-C program on Intel 18A adds 2 strategic defense industrial base customers

Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

The US military-industrial complex seeks further semiconductor ecosystem integration. Credit: US DoD

According to Intel, Boeing and Northrop Grumman have joined phase two of the Department of Defense's RAMP-C program, which aims to facilitate a leading-edge US foundry ecosystem on Intel 18A for commercial and government customers.

As a part of phase two of the US DoD's Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program, Intel Foundry Services is onboarding two new defense industrial base (DIB) customers, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. In phase two of the RAMP-C program, customers will develop, tape-out, and fabricate test circuits in preparation for product design tape-outs using Intel 18A process technology, industry-standard electrical design and analysis tools, and intellectual property (IP).

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 US national security, Intel said. Intel 18A process development continues on track and RAMP-C customers are developing test chips.

Intel's role with DoD programs

Intel disclosed that it is partnering with the DoD on three separate programs that aim to strengthen the US government's microelectronics supply chain and accelerate US 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 US government to access Intel's US advanced semiconductor packaging capabilities to develop new approaches toward measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and testing of advanced packaging solutions.

"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," said Kapil Wadhera, VP of Intel Foundry Services and general manager of Foundry Solutions Business Group. "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."