White House officers are speaking to Intel and TSMC about constructing semiconductor foundries within the United States, in line with a Wall Street Journal report. U.S. tech firms and the federal government have been making an attempt to scale back the nation’s dependence on chip factories in Asia for years, underscored by nationwide safety considerations, the U.S.-China tariff battle and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted provide chains and logistics world wide.
The WSJ additionally reported that some U.S. officers have additionally talked to Samsung Electronics about increasing its current contract-manufacturing operations within the U.S. to supply extra superior chips.
Intel, TSMC and Samsung Electronics are capable of make chips of 10-nanometers or decrease, the quickest and most power-efficient chips presently available on the market.
In an April 28 letter obtained by the WSJ, Intel CEO Bob Swan advised Defense Department that the corporate is prepared to construct a industrial foundry in partnership with the Pentagon “given the uncertainty created by the present geopolitical state of affairs.”
Intel already has U.S. operations that make chips for its personal merchandise, however the brand new manufacturing unit would serve different firms as nicely. TSMC, a Taiwanese semiconductor contract producer, would proceed making chips for different firms (its prospects embrace Qualcomm, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices).
The newspaper experiences that TSMC has been in talks with Commerce and Defense division officers and Apple, one of many greatest purchasers, about constructing a semiconductor manufacturing unit within the U.S.
In a press release to TechCrunch, a TSMC spokesperson mentioned “TSMC has all the time been open to constructing fabs abroad, and don’t rule something out. We are actively evaluating all the appropriate places, together with within the U.S., however there isn’t any concrete plan but. It all is determined by prospects’ wants.”
Other options which were proposed by U.S. officers and trade teams embrace authorities funding within the home chip trade to assist the excessive value of constructing foundries, tax credit for semiconductor makers to purchase and set up tools at U.S factories, and implementing extra export restrictions for U.S. firms that ship microchips to consumers in China.
TechCrunch has contacted Intel and TSMC for remark.