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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 ere are indications that this reversal may already be in the works but does the U.S. gov- ernment bring the necessary support? Let's look at a few recent examples. Intel, a leading U.S.-based chip supplier, had lost market share for computer CPUs over the past few years and seemed to be on a down- hill path. However, earlier this year Intel an- nounced that its board of directors had ap- pointed 40-year technology industry leader Pat Gelsinger as its new chief executive officer, and shortly thereaer announced its plans to spend $20 billion to build new chipmaking factories in the United States In addition, Intel has recently released a new CPU line led by the flag- ship Core i9-12900K CPU. e 12 Gen Alder Lake chips, as they are known, are getting rave reviews and the pricing on the newer Intel chips seems to be more com- petitive than a few years ago. I'll be writing about this in greater detail in an upcoming column. Intel may be at the beginning of a turnaround, and these moves seem to show that the company, and the U.S., are serious about regaining global leadership in this crucial tech- nology. But it also indicates how far Intel and the U.S. had fallen behind. As part of its plan, Intel said it would open its factories more widely to make chips for other companies, highlight ing it s manufac tur ing expertise and renewed ambition. But at the same time, Intel said it would outsource production of some of its most advanced chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Com- pany (TSMC), one of the world's largest and most advanced chip man- ufacturing companies. is compa- ny recently announced significant expansion plans, much of it outside of Taiwan. TSMC's overseas expansion plans come amid concerns over the concentration of chip- making capability in Taiwan—an island that sits uncomfortably close to mainland China, which has not ruled out the use of force to bring the democratic land under its control. However, TSMC leads Intel in using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) to put more compute power on a chip by squeezing transis- tors closer together. As one of the world's larg- Intel's newest factory, Fab 42, became fully operational in 2020 on the company's Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona. In late Sept. 2021, the $20B project to expand this campus with two new chip factories broke ground. (Source: Intel)

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