Intel Contemplates Producing Chips for Struggling Automakers

The chips could be ready within six to nine months.
Fabienne Lang

A global semiconductor chip production shortage has forced renowned automakers around the world to temporarily halt or slow down their production processes over the past months.

Mostly caused by pandemic-related issues, chip factories have had to either close or work with smaller teams, causing a domino effect with car production lines. 

To help alleviate this issue, Intel Corp.'s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, told Reuters on April 12 that the company is looking into potentially producing chips for automakers so that these can get back up and running.

Intel is allegedly in talks with car chip design companies to see if it can take over their manufacturing, and help alleviate the shortage.

How Intel could help 

Instead of spending years building new foundries, as chip-making factories are called, Intel would use its existing factory network with the hope of producing chips within six to nine months, Gelsinger said. No factory names were mentioned, but Intel already has factories in Oregon, Azirona, New Mexico, Israel, and Ireland, wrote Reuters

Intel is on the list alongside some of the largest global semiconductor manufacturers, like Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., and Qualcomm, among others. So it's easy to see why they would step up to help. 

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Getting the production of semiconductor chips for cars back off the ground is vital for automakers. New vehicles nowadays use dozens of these chips within their systems. From infotainment systems to airbag control, they're crucial for car manufacturers, as an earlier Interesting Engineering article explained.  

Gelsinger told Reuters that when he spoke with White House officials on Monday, April 12, he indicated that Intel will open its existing factories to chip makers so that some of the shortages can be addressed now, in particular for Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. 

"We’ve begun those engagements already with some of the key components suppliers," he said.

Hopefully, Intel's assistance will help get automakers' production lines back up and running as they normally do.

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