Microsoft is helping to speed up the design and manufacturing time of certain chips using its Azure cloud infrastructure. Today, the company revealed that it participated in helping with designing chips in a cloud environment and then sending those designs to chip foundries.
In a blog post, Microsoft said it is working with the US Department of Defense on its Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) program. That work included a demonstration of using Azure cloud servers to help BAE Systems and Raytheon Technologies design three new chips for the DoD. Microsoft stated:
This achievement is a key milestone that marks the first time such chips were designed in the cloud and transmitted via the cloud to chip foundries for manufacture. This process rapidly accelerates the time to market for critical microelectronic components and represents a significant milestone in secure cloud-based microelectronic design and manufacturing.
The blog post added this cloud-based method could also be used in the future to design chips and send them to manufacturers for commercial use. Microsoft says this might be a good way to create a local supply chain for new chips in the future as well as speed up their development and release time. It added:
Customers routinely use Azure’s infrastructure solutions to optimize design turnaround times, such as high-performance virtual machines and storage, as well as platform solutions that are custom built for silicon design workloads.
With supply chain issues for microelectronics continuing to be an issue worldwide, this new cloud-based method could help eliminate some of those problems.