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Intel should be the Free World’s Plan A Not Plan B, and we need the US Government to step in

Intel should be the Free World’s Plan A Not Plan B, and we need the US Government to step in
by Chris Krueger on 02-19-2024 at 6:00 am

TSMC Intel

There are trillions of dollars at stake with AI and huge geopolitical consequences. However, the weak foundation to American technological power is their dependence on Taiwan and TSMC, which is where most advanced silicon is manufactured. America has also been taking China to the ropes lately in their economic/technology proxy war, and the better they do at this, the more it may tempt China to retaliate by attacking Taiwan. Blocking America’s access to TSMC would bring American technology dominance to its knees, and it could take a decade for America to recover. That would be a knockout punch after the rounds of body shots that China has been taking lately from the Americans.

TSMC / Taiwan is fully aware of this, which is why they seek to deepen the dependence of the West on them by building fabs in Japan, USA, and Europe. They know that this dependence will return them Western military protection against China. Truthfully, the only people who know how to operate these Fabs are the Taiwanese, and these “satellite” Fabs will need permanent oversight from Taiwan. If you exclude the threat of Chinese invasion as a motive, I think there is no benefit for TSMC to expand globally, since their industrial complex is thriving independently in Taiwan. Their strategy is about trading technology for military protection.

However, we have a TSMC comparable foundry in our own backyards with Intel. The issue is that despite Intel’s best intentions, it hasn’t been able to get it’s foundry into shape after almost 20 years of trying (It was first attempted in 2007). I worked 6 years in the first Intel foundry (2007-2018) and it was a resounding failure. In my opinion, the cause was the way Intel product and foundry divisions are partitioned, as in they weren’t sufficiently, and instead had very complex, tribal, and proprietary connectivity. This works fine for Intel’s products but has made it impossible for external companies to interface to the foundry in an efficient and effective way. A critical problem in engineering is wise partitioning and careful choice of interfaces, something that Intel has failed so far to achieve.

I’m convinced that the solution requires American government intervention and a deliberate plan to split Intel into a product company and a Foundry, and to move the American technology products significantly onto Intel’s fabs. Intel needs to be our Plan A, so that our technological advantage is not left exposed with our severe dependence on TSMC. This is a strategic need for western, free market, and democratic power, not to mention it gives us a way out of military escalation with China.

Also Read:

How Disruptive will Chiplets be for Intel and TSMC?

IEDM: What Comes After Silicon?

2024 Big Race is TSMC N2 and Intel 18A

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