05 Apr 2024 -

Intel shooting for gold in competition for global semiconductor production


Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is on a mission to bring advanced semiconductor manufacturing back to the West. He’s candid about the risks of the current Asian dominance, stating, “chips are… the most important resources in the world” and emphasising the need to regain control. The worrying picture emerges: only 12% of today’s chips are made in the US, a stark decline from 37% in 1990.

The tide may be turning, however. Gelsinger hails the CHIPS Act as a catalyst for change, noting Intel has secured a substantial $8.5 billion in subsidies and loans to bolster US production capacity. His ultimate goal is ambitious: to ensure at least 50% of the world’s cutting-edge semiconductors are manufactured in the US and Europe by the end of the decade.

It’s not just rhetoric; Gelsinger calls for a second CHIPS Act to maintain momentum, urging greater investment in R&D, STEM education, and building a skilled workforce that can power the future of the industry. This sentiment is echoed by the wider industry, with the SEMI association applauding the Department of Commerce’s support for Intel’s expansion into new manufacturing sites across four states.

Analysts are cautiously optimistic. SEMI projects the Americas region will double its investment in manufacturing equipment by 2027, narrowing the gap with Asia and making supply chains more diverse and resilient. While challenges remain, Intel’s ambition, coupled with government support, could signal a turning point in the effort to reshore this critical technology.

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