Intel secures largest US CHIPS Act funding agreement yet

Intel secured the bag.

Intel i5 chip in hand by Niek Doup via Unsplash
Image by Niek Doup via Unsplash.

Intel has successfully secured a large portion of the $52 billion US CHIPS Act funding. The US will award $8.5 billion in grants, and as much as $11 billion in loans to boost semiconductor manufacturing on US soil, totalling almost $20 billion in funding for Intel. It also equates to approximately 26% of the CHIPS Act budget, making it the most lucrative deal yet.

It’s no secret that Intel is gearing up to be the ‘world’s AI foundry,’ and this stimulus package will aid greatly in its efforts. The tech giant is currently building two cutting-edge fabs in Chandler, Arizona and another two in New Albany, Ohio. These facilities will most likely be responsible for building chips based on its next-generation 18A and 20A process nodes. Meanwhile, two existing fabs in Rio Rancho, New Mexico will be converted into packaging facilities.

In addition, Intel can also claim an Investment Tax Credit from the Department of the Treasury of up to 25% of $100 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. The company’s current roadmap seeks to advance Moore’s Law by producing five nodes in the next four years. Suffice it to say that the newly injected capital will certainly help offset costs.

Just last year, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger boldly suggested Intel deserved a greater portion of US CHIPS Act funding. He argued that Intel is the only tech company that designs, researches and develops, and manufactures within the United States. I guess the Biden administration is inclined to agree.

Gelsinger told the press at a pre-briefing that it had accomplished its funding objectives and received “about” the amount it had expected. Though, I’m quite certain he is wholly satisfied with the outcome. It’s the largest set of payments coming out of the bill to date, after all.