Intel’s new chief executive said in an interview with foreign media that many computer chips are now made in Asia “not very satisfactory”.
The following is a transcript of the interview with foreign media:
Most of the world’s processors are currently made in Asia. Among them, TSMC and Samsung dominate.
U.S.-based Intel Corp. plans to set up a new division to manufacture chips designed by other companies.
Until now, Intel has focused on making its own chips in factories around the world.
Pat Gelsinger (Pat Gelsinger) said Intel will invest $20 billion in two new Arizona manufacturing plants, in addition to the existing plant in Ireland’s County Kildare (Kildare). massive expansion.
“It’s not a satisfying way for the world to have 80 percent of the supply of this critical technology in Asia,” Pat Kirsinger said.
“Every smartphone, telemedicine, teleworker, distance education, self-driving car…every aspect of humanity is becoming more digital.”
“And when it gets digital, it runs on semiconductors … that’s at the heart of every aspect of human existence in the future, and the world needs a more balanced supply chain to do that. We’re getting in.”
He added that Intel also intends to build another chip manufacturing plant in another European country, but would not disclose the exact location.
target not met
While these moves are too late to address the chip shortages facing automakers and other companies today, they could help the West avoid future crises.
Politicians in the United States and the European Union have called for more local chip factories.
This is partly due to concerns that China aims to unify mainland China with Taiwan, and that North Korea also poses a threat to neighboring South Korea.
However, Intel has repeatedly missed production targets in recent years.
As a result, Intel’s latest desktop processors use older Transistor technology than rivals like AMD and Apple, putting its components at a disadvantage.
Pat Kirsinger must now prove that these problems the company faces are resolved before new business can flourish.
Glory of the past
Pat Kirsinger, 60, only returned to Intel last month. Intel previously ousted its predecessor over concerns over issues such as declining market share.
Earlier in his career, though, Pat Kirsinger spent 30 years at Intel and served as Intel’s first technology officer.
An activist investor had pressured him into a “fabless” model, asking him to spin off Intel’s factories and focus on chip design.
But Pat Kirsinger has opted for a seemingly tougher challenge in hopes of restoring the company to its former glory.
That includes letting customers pay extra for chips that mix their own technology with parts of Intel’s architecture.
“We’re putting everything on the table,” he said.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity:
Let’s start with Intel’s new foundry business. It sounds like you guys are going all out to make chips for companies that lack the equipment, but why help your competitors?
Manufacturing is a capacity game, and if you can’t lead in total capacity, you’re going to fall behind. So it’s necessary to some extent. If we’re going to be in manufacturing, we have to do contract work for ourselves and others.
In short, the world needs more semiconductors.
We were in an environment where digital was going strong, and then Covid-19 pushed us to a completely different position.
The world needs more semiconductors, and we are one of the few companies with cutting-edge technology that can step into this open space. Keeping it for our own product is not the right thing to do for the planet, for this industry, and for a globally distributed supply chain.
How disruptive do you think it would be to take business from Samsung and TSMC?
In general, I think everyone is sighing and chasing overwhelmed demand. Some of our products will also use products from Samsung and TSMC.
So this is “cooperative competition”. As customers, we want to have strong partnerships with them, and in some cases, a little competition. But overall, it’s a fast-growing $100 billion market that needs more supply.
It also requires more geographically balanced supply.
Today is heavily biased towards Asia, and as we have seen, after some disruption and challenges, the world needs a more balanced supply from the US and Europe. This is true of demands on global supply chains, both for commercial use and for government and defense use.
You also have a large chip factory in Dalian, China, are there any plans to build a new factory in China?
We currently have no expansion plans there.
Announced yesterday are two new plants in Arizona. We’re already building in Oregon, Ireland and Israel.
And we’ve announced that we want to open factories in both Europe and the US next year, so there are four major factories currently under construction, and I hope to add two more in the next year.
You said you hoped that Apple might be one of your customers, despite its decision to stop using Intel chips. Do you think this is realistic?
Everyone wants multiple suppliers, so we think that’s very potential, but I have to get this business, I have to be able to find my competitors and be able to say, “I want you to be my customer” .
That includes Nvidia, Qualcomm and Broadcom, as well as Microsoft and IBM. I want them all to say, “I need more technology…I believe Intel will be one of my main suppliers.”
And that includes Apple, one of the biggest users of advanced semiconductors.
Apples can sometimes be a little thin-skinned. So is it wise to make a high-profile mockery of Apple Computer in an advertisement and say that it is willing to become its partner again?
As a company, we have a lot of respect for Apple. They are an innovator who has done incredible things in the industry. Tim Cook is a great leader.
An Intel ad showed Apple Macs performing worse than PCs with Intel chips.
At the same time, we will be aggressive competitors and we will reinvigorate the PC ecosystem.
So we will enjoy ourselves. We will compete aggressively, but also take care of my customers.
Speaking of your own chips, you said you have mastered the 7-nanometer process now, which is roughly equivalent to 5-nanometer in the TSMC and Samsung markets. But we’ve heard promises from Intel before, and they’ve fallen through. What will be different this time?
We’ve seen the core issues, and what actually happened was that we had a problem with our 10-nanometer breakout, which caused a domino-like delay that spilled over to 7-nanometer.
There is an advanced manufacturing technology called extreme ultraviolet lithography. It’s still immature and we don’t bet on it. But over time it has become more mature, so now we have fully embraced it.
It’s the same thing TSMC is doing, actively using it.
So we feel like our pace is very predictable right now.
I’m confident we’re back on track, not just in 7-nanometer, we’ve had a lot of success in other categories.
We also announced a research collaboration with IBM. So we have a wealth of tips, ideas, and innovations to choose from that put us on the path to long-term Intel leadership.
Can you explain first, do you think you can surpass TSMC and Samsung in chip manufacturing capabilities?
Intel has led the semiconductor industry in innovation for more than 20 years.
We have encountered a pit, and we are now working hard to get out of this pit. I look forward to continued leadership in this area for decades to come.
First tie, then a little bit ahead, then continued leadership. That’s the way we’re going.