When designing a new processor, it is necessary to know in advance which manufacturing node is going to be used, which will mark the limits of its design. A fact that may seem trivial at first glance so much so that in a globalized market, more money can be converted into some or another of money. The manufacturing of new chips generates huge sums of money, which is why it should come as no surprise to see the Biden administration supporting companies in the sector in the country and in particular Intel.
US moves tokens against Taiwan
Pat Gelsinger’s entry as CEO of Intel has led to changes in Intel’s business model, as it has gone from a company that makes processors with its own foundry to a foundry with a CPU division. But all of this has its geostrategic origin, the fact that the Joe Biden administration has transferred chip manufacturing to the United States. A movement, which is nothing more than the continuity of the protectionist policies of the Donald Trump administration.
For any nation in the world, it is important to have strategic industries and industrial sectors under its control. The paradox in the semiconductor market is that while American companies are the ones making the best designs, with the exception of Intel which has its own foundries, the others use foreign companies such as South Korean Samsung and the Taiwanese TSMC to manufacture your processors.
The Trump administration’s tariff policies have already moved several Asian companies to the United States, including TSMC itself, which will build a factory for its 5nm node on American soil. Which poses a threat to Intel as it brings the world’s largest capacity foundry closer to domestic companies in the United States.
Biden administration to the rescue of Intel and others
According to Reuters, on April 12, the US administration will hold a very important meeting with the various manufacturers and designers of semiconductors. This includes not only Intel, but also other foundries and processor manufacturers on American soil, such as IBM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
During the past week, the administration of Joe Biden announced its intention to invest 50,000 million in the production of semiconductors, that is to say chips. Let us not forget the plans already announced by Intel to create another factory for 20,000 million and to concede its production to third parties as is done by TSMC. While the investment of $ 50,000 million may seem like a really high number, we cannot forget TSMC’s announcement last week to invest $ 100,000 million for the next three years, and by Samsung of a similar number. for the next decade.
One company that could benefit from this is not just Intel, but GLOBALFOUNDRIES; which had been the benchmark foundry for AMD and IBM. In any case, we cannot forget the origin of the CEOs of companies like NVIDIA and AMD; which also influences the decisions of these companies.
What is the status of foundries in the United States?
A few years ago there were two foundries in the United States, Intel and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, in the race for increasingly advanced nodes. What has always been like the chair game, each new node has increased its deployment and production costs. In the case of the 7nm nodes, 10nm for Intel, it was the abandonment of GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
To this we have to add the problems of Intel’s 10nm node, with which they could not make the complete transition to Intel’s huge production volume. This shows that Gen 11 is still at 14nm with the fact that its Intel Xe-HPG will be made at TSMC.
While Intel promises that its 7nm node will be up and running in a few months, TSMC has already had the equivalent of 5nm fully functional and manufacturing processors for Apple for almost a year now and AMD and NVIDIA are expected to make the jump. 2022. Intel therefore has very stiff competition if it wants to attract customers for its foundries other than its own chips.