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Joining the Intel Foundry Services Cloud Alliance is Microsoft Azure.

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Joining the Intel Foundry Services Cloud Alliance is Microsoft Azure.


Unprecedented attention has been paid to the semiconductor sector as a result of the current shortfall. Commercial and governmental organizations now acknowledge that the United States lacks the ability to manufacture advanced node semiconductors domestically. All of that is about to change with the arrival of Intel Foundry Services (IFS) into the commercial foundry market. Microsoft Azure is one of the founding partners of Intel’s new IFS Cloud Alliance initiative, which is a component of the IFS Accelerator program.

This is the most recent development in a relationship between Intel and Microsoft that dates back to the early years of the personal computer and spans decades. For the previous several years,Intel and Microsoft have worked together to advance semiconductor design on the cloud. They have done this by partnering on a secure cloud-based semiconductor development platform for the US Department of Defense RAMP and RAMP-C projects; working with EDA suppliers to improve their software to better take advantage of the elasticity of the Azure cloud; and bringing out EDA-centric cloud computation such as the FX series on Azure.

A Microsoft Azure exhibit will be hosted by IFS in conjunction with Microsoft and NetApp at the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco later this year. Together, Intel and Microsoft will provide best practices and ideal recommendations to assist customers in utilizing the Azure cloud’s capabilities for chip design. Through this cooperation, Intel foundry collateral and process design kits will be targeted by tested flows and procedures (PDKs). Customers will notice that Microsoft Azure offers a safe environment for designing semiconductors as well as improved tools for design teams to securely work with EDA suppliers and other partners.

With the help of this cooperation, fabless semiconductor firms of various sizes will be able to develop and market advanced node silicon techniques. Small and medium fabless firms will be able to solve design complexity that would have been difficult with on-prem infrastructure by using the performance and scalability offered by Azure. Targeting Intel advanced process nodes while augmenting their on-premise resources with more recent cloud-based resources and EDA tools designed to operate in the cloud can be advantageous for large fabless firms as well.

We hope that this partnership will give the industry access to newer nodes, more effective chip design, higher coverage, decreased tape-out risk, and improved first silicon success.

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