Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger yesterday equalled semiconductors with oil, suggesting that computer chips can play an important role in global relations in the upcoming decades.
Gelsinger said, “Oil reserves have defined geopolitics for the last five decades. Where the fabs [fabrication plants where semiconductors are manufactured] are for a digital future is more important. Let’s build them where we want them, and define the world that we want to be part of in the U.S. and Europe.”
The vast majority of chips are currently made in Asia and this concentration of production has increased natural security concerns.
The shortage of semiconductors was also experienced by the global market during the Covid-19 pandemic due to production disruptions and an increasing demand for the chips.
Intel has taken aggressive stance to diversify manufacturing of semiconductor chips geographically Under Gelsinger’s leadership.
Geslinger’s remarks have increased importance because crude oil prices increased this year in part due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and fears over supply disruptions.
Geslinger said, “While the Russia-Ukraine situation isn’t central to any of the supply chains for semiconductors, it just reinforces the geopolitical instability and the urgency around building supply chains that are geographically balanced — U.S., Europe and Asia — and far more resilient for the digital future. Everything digital runs on semiconductors, and it is just essential that we build these fabs where we want them.”