June 18, 2020

Steve Blank on the Coming Chip Wars

Steve Blank’s excellent write up on the geopolitics of processors on the 21st century — steveblank.com:

Controlling advanced chip manufacturing in the 21st century may well prove to be like controlling the oil supply in the 20th. The country that controls this manufacturing can throttle the military and economic power of others.

​This is a fight that has already started, and we’re already living the tectonic shifts it caused. ​The outcome is far from certain, and if it doesn’t seem it might affect you… just look around for any electronic device.

The chips that TSMC makes are found in almost everything: smartphones (i.e. Apple iPhones), high-performance computing platforms, PCs, tablets, servers, base stations and game consoles, Internet-connected devices like smart wearables, digital consumer electronics, cars, and almost every weapon system built in the 21st century. Around 60% of the chips TSMC makes are for American companies.


In May 2020 TSMC announced it was going to build a $12 billion foundry in Arizona to make some of its most advanced chips. Foundries take at least three years to build and the most expensive factories on earth. Construction on TSMCs facility is planned to start in 2021, but actual chip production will not start until 2024.

The USA-centric geek in me will now cringe at not realizing how Intel’s fall from grace plays into all of this:

China is spending over a hundred billion dollars to become a world leader in developing their semiconductor industry.

​Much more details in the post, worth a read.


Previous post
This Morning Walk Libby Delana on youtube.com: I started walking, every morning over 8 years ago and haven’t stopped. Walking, for me, has been my way back to
Next post
Om Malik on Dropbox Om Malik on om.co: I don’t blame Dropbox going the way they have — they are less about the individual customers and more focused on teams and