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Microsoft Azure Announces Introduction to Intel Foundry Services Cloud Alliance

At the end of June, Intel announced a new phase of its Accelerator ecosystem program, the Intel Foundry Services Cloud Alliance (IFS Cloud Alliance). Almost 2 weeks later, we know that Microsoft Azure has formalized that it joins Intel in this new adventure that will allow the industry design your future chips in the cloud in a safe way. it will improve design efficiency foundry customer and accelerate time to market by harnessing the power of massive on-demand computing.

In this case, Microsoft will make its EDA-centric cloud computing expertise available to Intel, or in other words, make the power of its cloud available to Intel to make it a reality.

The recent semiconductor shortage has brought unprecedented attention to the industry. Commercial and government entities have recognized the lack of manufacturing capabilities for advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes in the United States. The entry of Intel Foundry Services (IFS) into the commercial foundry space is set to change all that. As part of the IFS Accelerator program, Intel recently announced its new IFS Cloud Alliance program, with Microsoft Azure as one of the first members.

This is the final chapter of a partnership between Intel and Microsoft dating back decades to the beginnings of the personal computer. During the last years, Intel and Microsoft collaborated to advance semiconductor design in the cloud working together to shine a light on EDA-centric cloud computing, such as the FX-series on Azure, working with EDA vendors to improve their software to better take advantage of the elasticity of the Azure cloud, as well as collaborating on a secure cloud-based semiconductor development platform for the United States Department of Defense’s RAMP and RAMP-C programs.

Microsoft Azure

IFS will also partner with Microsoft and NetApp to host a Microsoft Azure booth at the Design Automation conference later this year in San Francisco. Working together, Intel and Microsoft will develop best practices and guidelines to help customers take advantage of Azure cloud capabilities for chip design. This alliance will result in proven workflows and methodologies targeting Intel’s Process Design Kits (PDKs) and foundry warranties. Customers will see how Microsoft Azure provides a secure design environment for semiconductor design and enhanced capabilities for design teams to collaborate securely with EDA vendors and other partners.

This alliance will provide fabless semiconductor companies of all sizes the ability to design and target advanced node silicon processes. By taking advantage of the performance and scale offered by Azure, fabless small and medium businesses will be able to address design complexity that would have been difficult with on-premises infrastructure. Large non-industrial enterprises can also benefit from the ability to target Intel’s advanced compute nodes, while supplementing their on-premises resources with new cloud-based resources and EDA tools optimized to run in the cloud.

Through this collaboration, we hope to provide the industry with the ability to access newer nodes, achieve more efficient chip design, greater coverage, reduced risk of tape-outs, and improve the success of the first silicon.

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