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Chip chains likely to shape geopolitics more than oil in next 50 years, says manufacturer CEO

Global politics will be dominated by the availability, trade and investment in microchips for decades to come, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told the CNN on Tuesday (17).

The location of the “petroleum reserves [tem] defined geopolitics over the past five decades,” Gelsinger said in an interview with Julia Chatterley of CNN at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Where the technology supply chains are and where semiconductors are built is more important for the next 5 decades.”

Gelsinger said the company’s investment in new manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe and elsewhere is important not only for the company’s future, but for the “globalization of the world’s most future-critical resource.”

“We need this resilient, geographically balanced supply chain,” he said.

Intel said last year it would invest $20 billion to build two new chip manufacturing facilities in the United States, as well as up to $90 billion in new European factories, as it aims to reaffirm its position as a leader in the semiconductor industry. .

The announcements also come amid concerns over the concentration of chip manufacturing in Asia, particularly China and Taiwan, during the Covid-19 pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions.

Chip supply chain problems in recent years have caused shortages and delays in shipments of everything from desktop computers and iPhones to cars.

“If we’ve learned one thing from the Covid crisis and this multi-year journey we’re on, we need resiliency in our supply chains,” Gelsinger said, adding that Intel’s manufacturing investments aim to “level that playing field. so that good investment decisions can be made.”

Gelsinger — who took over as Intel’s chief executive two years ago during a difficult period for the company — acknowledged that the company’s investments in a decades-old strategy come during a difficult economic period.

“It’s a delicate economic environment in the near term – Covid and China, Ukraine and energy in Europe, inflation in the US – you look at that and ask, ‘Where’s the good news?’” he said. “But at the same time , we need to make long-term investments, three-quarter economic environments cannot dictate five-year and six-year capital investment cycles… It is challenging to be a CEO today.”

A US law passed last year to boost domestic chip production should help. The CHIPS and Science Act will invest more than $200 billion to help companies advance US chip manufacturing and research.

Now, Gelsinger said, Intel and other chip makers are just waiting for the bill’s funds to be dispersed, after President Joe Biden last year directed a steering committee, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, to determine how to implement the law. law and distribute the funds.

“We hope to see them this year,” Gelsinger said of the CHIPS Act funds. “I am investing, please show up with the money. Because we are assuming that they will help us make these massive investments.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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