Pat Gelsinger: Too Many Chips Made in Asia

Intel’s new chief executive said it’s not “palatable” that numerous computer chips are made in Asia.

The majority of processors are currently manufactured within the region, with Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung the dominant players.

US-based Intel plans to set up a new division to make chips for other companies based on their designs.

Until now, its focus had been on manufacturing its chips in its factories across the world.

Pat Gelsinger has said Intel will invest $20bn (£14.6bn) in two new fabrication plants within the US state of Arizona, additionally to a serious expansion of an existing Irish facility in County Kildare.

“Having 80% of all supply in Asia simply isn’t a palatable manner for the world to have its view of the most critical technology,” Mr. Gelsinger said.

“Every smartphone, every telemedicine, every remote worker, every remote education, every autonomous vehicle, every aspect of humanity is becoming more digital.

“And when it becomes digital, it runs on semiconductors.

“This is the heart of every aspect of human existence going forward. And the world needs a more balanced supply chain to accomplish that. We’re stepping in.”

He added that Intel also intended to create an extra chip-making foundry during a different European country, but wouldn’t be drawn about exactly where.

In an interview, he said, “Let’s start with the new Intel Foundry Services business. It sounds like you’re going all out to make chips for other companies who lack the facilities to do so themselves. But why help the competition?

 

Manufacturing is a capacity game. And if you’re not leading in terms of total capacity, you will fall behind. So, to some degree, it’s a necessity. If we’re going to be in the manufacturing business, we have to be a foundry for ourselves and others. Simply put, the world needs more semiconductors.

 

We’re in an environment where digitization was at a strong pace of growth. And then Covid kicked us into a dramatically different gear.

 

The world needs more semiconductors, and we’re one of the few companies that have leading-edge technologies to be able to step into that void. And to keep it for our products simply is not the right thing for the planet, for the industry, and a globally distributed supply chain.

 

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