The U.S. government is hoping to persuade chip manufacturers Intel and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) to build factories in the U.S., according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration is reportedly concerned about relying on overseas manufacturers, especially those in Asia, for a supply of all-important processors. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on global supply chains in all industries including computing, the U.S. is seeking to secure a supply of essential components manufactured within its own borders.
Officials from the U.S. government have been in talks with the two companies about opening factories in the U.S., as confirmed by a representative from Intel. “We’re very serious about this,” Greg Slater, Intel’s vice president of policy and technical affairs, told the Wall Street Journal. “We think it’s a good opportunity … The timing is better and the demand for this is greater than it has been in the past, even from the commercial side.”
The company confirmed the talks in a statement to Reuters that was positive about the plans: “Intel is well positioned to work with the U.S. government to operate a U.S.-owned commercial foundry and supply a broad range of secure microelectronics.”
TSMC also confirmed its interest in a statement, saying that, “We are actively evaluating all the suitable locations, including in the U.S., but there is no concrete plan yet.”
The requirements for the U.S. to secure its own supply of processors is not only due to the coronavirus outbreak, but also due to mounting tensions between the U.S. and China. Tech companies like Huawei have become a battleground in the fight over security and trade, tensions which have only increased as the two countries blame each other for the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus.
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