August 10, 2022

Cameron Chehreh on Intel’s Efforts to Boost Microchip Production and Federal Digital Transformation

Cameron Chehreh, Intel

In the effort to modernize and transform, federal leaders should look beyond short-term and ad hoc solutions.

“It’s really about reimagining the world in a digital context, creating this roadmap that’s really game-changing,” said Cameron Chehreh, vice president and general manager of global public sector at Intel.

In a rapidly changing world, governments can take advantage of digital transformation to deliver a higher level of service to citizens and, on the defense side, to stay ahead of nearby adversaries. Intel can help: Beyond just making the microchips that support IT modernization, Chehreh said, the company also has the expertise to help the government make the most of emerging tools.

“We can really present ourselves as a trusted advisor, to help with technology adoption,” he said. Intel’s public sector team “is focused on ensuring that the government unlocks the full value of what it has already purchased or will purchase that is based on Intel technologies.”

In addition to this advisory role, Intel is of course focusing on the production of microchips. At a time when pandemic-related supply chain issues have strained chip availability, the company is investing heavily in domestic chip production, a move that Chehreh says will bolster the government’s long-term resilience. term.

The company is making multi-billion dollar investments to upgrade its existing US chip production facilities and plans to build the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing site in Ohio.

“We serve the full spectrum of semiconductor needs across the spectrum of R&D, design, manufacturing and packaging capabilities, all in the United States at all of our locations, including the Ohio factory. . This end-to-end capability is important: it’s what allows us to make variations of the silicon for integration into the F-35 and other advanced systems,” Chehreh said.

Domestic production promises to help smooth the global supply chain and provide a higher level of security at a time when the Pentagon and others are concerned about the integrity of the IT supply chain. With strong domestic chip production, “the US government, as well as NATO and allied nations, will know they can build sovereign systems that will be safe and secure,” he added.

Currently, 80% of global microchip production occurs in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region, he said, with 8% of production in Europe and 12% in the United States. “We need to rebalance this supply chain,” Chehreh said. . “You can’t put all your eggs in one basket.

While Intel is globally focused on building greater resilience on the chip production side, Chehreh’s federal team is devoting much of its attention to helping the government get the most out of its digital assets. emerging.

With Intel chips serving as a key ingredient in a wide array of solutions, “our customers are already ingesting our technology, and we’re here to help them optimize,” Chehreh said.

“We have digital transformation experts helping them rethink their people, processes, placement and product capability – the four Ps. We help them rethink the world, digitally, onsite, offsite, in the cloud, at the edge,” he added. “We’re partnering with them to help them rethink how they embrace technology to fulfill their mission.”

Intel’s active engagements in the open source community typify this collaborative mindset. An open-source approach helps ensure the government has immediate access to the latest advancements “and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s about bringing together an ecosystem of partners to help government digitally transform.”

While Chehreh said he is optimistic about the potential for digital transformation, he would also like to see things happen faster. He would like to see Congress pass the CHIPS for America Act, which would provide “more than $50 billion in incentives to accelerate and catalyze domestic production of advanced semiconductors,” according to a Commerce Department analysis.

“We have to go extremely fast,” Chehreh said. “It should be a national imperative, because our adversaries do not stand still. We should not stand still. We need to be able to bring that value to the entire partner ecosystem: activating our technology and our defensive capabilities. You want to have these things available when needed, and in today’s world they are needed right now.

Having served nearly 30 years in public sector support, Chehreh said he was personally proud to be able to play a role in supporting the federal mission, particularly on the defense side. He had an early mentor, a Navy rear admiral, who gave him a deep appreciation for the mission and for the people who dedicated themselves to the security of the nation.

When he spends long hours, “it’s out of passion and love,” he says. “There are brave men and women protecting our country and the rest of the world, and they deserve the best. It’s what gives me a real sense of purpose every day.