Intel wants to solve the auto industry's chip shortage

The PC chip giant could become a global foundry for the car industry.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, says the PC chip-maker is in talks with semiconductor manufacturers to fill the silicon shortage that has stalled the production of new vehicles.

Gelsinger told Reuters that Intel is talking with companies that design chips for the auto industry about making those parts in Intel's factories. Intel hopes to produce the chips within six to nine months, Reuters reports.

Per ZDNet's sister site, CNET, the Alliance for Auto Innovation has lobbied the Biden Administration to tackle the silicon shortage, which has happened because chip manufacturers prefer to sell their silicon to higher-paying smartphone manufacturers. The shortage has been exacerbated by record demand for laptops and games consoles during the pandemic.

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In February, Biden signed an executive order that aimed to address the semiconductor chip shortage. The President wants Congress to authorise $37 billion to ensure that the US can supply auto makers. 

The same month, major chip manufacturers including Intel, IBM, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Nvidia and AMD, lobbied Biden to support America's chip industry as part of his $2 trillion recovery plan. 

"We're hoping that some of these things can be alleviated, not requiring a three- or four-year factory build, but maybe six months of new products being certified on some of our existing processes," Gelsinger told Reuters. 

"We've begun those engagements already with some of the key components suppliers."

Intel's chief executive said that production could happen at the company's factories in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Israel or Ireland.

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Gelsinger, who was appointed CEO of Intel in February, last month announced that the company will invest $20 billion to build two factories in Arizona. 

The plan is for Intel to be a global foundry that makes chips for other companies, including rivals.

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