01 Apr 2024 -

US chip push fuels tech war with China

US Semiconductor

Intel’s massive $20 billion US CHIPS Act windfall marks the opening salvo in the US government’s bid to revive domestic chipmaking and challenge China’s industry dominance. But experts warn that even this unprecedented subsidy won’t be enough to ensure America regains its semiconductor crown.

Analysts believe Micron will be the next in line for a substantial package, highlighting the critical role of memory chips in advanced electronics. TSMC and Samsung, while crucial to the plan, may receive smaller amounts due to their reluctance to fully transfer cutting-edge tech to the US.

The challenges are immense. While Intel heralds the CHIPS Act as a catalyst, construction delays, skyrocketing costs, and a severe worker shortage threaten to derail the broader 2030 production target. Experts are skeptical that the $38 billion funding pool will be sufficient to create a fully self-reliant US semiconductor ecosystem.

“This funding alone will not be nearly enough,” warns Paul Triolo of Albright Stonebridge Group, predicting that a “CHIPS Two” – and likely more iterations – will be needed. Commerce Secretary Raimondo has already voiced support for additional funding.

The US tech war with China is rapidly escalating. Washington is poised to blacklist more Chinese chipmakers with links to Huawei, targeting SMIC – the company behind Huawei’s surprise 7nm processor breakthrough. The move highlights the US determination to choke off China’s tech progress, even as Beijing decries the weaponization of trade policy.

The stakes are high. The CHIPS Act is a gamble on America’s technological future and its position in the escalating rivalry with China. Success hinges not just on money, but on the ability to overcome a staggering workforce shortage and navigate the complexities of a truly self-sufficient supply chain.

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