Intel has teamed with Tsinghua University and Montage Technology Global Holdings Ltd for the founding of a special chip joint venture in China.
This move will reportedly help eliminate China's worries about the security of imported technologies. Prior to this, the Chinese government called to reduce the dependence on foreign-made semiconductor products, especially those used in systems that could be targeted by spies from abroad.
Intel said that Tsinghua University will develop a programmable chip that can be placed together with an Intel Xeon microprocessor in one plastic module. Xeon microprocessors are the most widely used calculating engine in data centers of enterprises and governments. This additional chip is known as reconfigurable computing processor. Tsinghua University's related software will add capabilities that address "specific local demands", which appear to be a euphemism for "state-monitored with no foreign control".
Starting from 2017, Montage will commercialize the modules containing the two chips.
Intel will reportedly provide over USD100 million research funds to the JV. But ownership split of the joint venture was n ot made public.
In 2014, Intel announced plans to invest USD1.5 billion to acquire a 20% stake in a holding company under Tsinghua Unigroup. This holding company owns two Chinese chip designers.
Intel has been developing in the Chinese market for 30 years and the company owns one chip manufacturing factory in the country. In October 2015, Intel said that they would reform this semiconductor manufacturing plant to make storage chips, which would cost about USD5.5 billion.