Intel wants to make chips for automakers to help with the global shortage

The company says it can start making silicon within six to nine months.

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: U.S. President Joe Biden joins a CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience via video conference with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan from the Roosevelt Room at the White House on April 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden joined the summit which focused on the global shortage of semiconductors -- computer chips that run everything from televisions and mobile phones to cars and games consoles --  caused by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images)
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Intel has laid out a plan to help automakers dealing with the global semiconductor shortage that has left companies like GM canceling production shifts. On Monday, CEO Pat Gelsinger told Reuters Intel is in talks with firms that design silicon for carmakers to manufacture their chips at its own foundries. If all goes according to plan, he told the wire service the goal is to start producing those designs within six to nine months. 

“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.” The executive didn’t name any of the companies Intel has had conversations with but did note manufacturing could take place at its plants in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Israel or Ireland. 

The plan is separate from the $20 billion investment Intel announced last month to start fabricating silicon for other chip designers. Gelsinger also met with the Biden administration as part of a meeting the White House held to discuss the semiconductor shortage. The president has been mulling options on how to address the situation since February. He told Gelsinger and other executives he’ll push Congress to put $50 billion toward semiconductor research and fabrication.   

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