Intel CEO Calls for ‘Moonshot’ Effort to Boost U.S. Role in Chip Production

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger
MANJUNATH KIRAN / Getty

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is calling for the United States to spend billions of dollars over the next few years on a “moonshot” project aimed at boosting America’s role in chipmaking.

Gelsinger called on Monday for the U.S. to participate in a “moonshot” project designed to regain lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing, so that America can again account for a third of global chip output, according to a report by Axios.

Investments made now will take several years before they pay off, so they won’t do much to ease the current semiconductor shortage.

The report added that the White House recently met with tech leaders in a virtual summit, where they discussed the need for investment in chip manufacturing.

“I would argue the most important building block for our economic livelihood and every aspect of human life is now increasingly not in our control,” Gelsinger told Axios after the White House meeting.

The Intel CEO — as well as executives from Google — reportedly left Monday’s White House meeting encouraged by the lawmakers’ broad support for investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

“We commend President Biden’s support for $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research investments,” said Semiconductor Industry Association CEO John Neuffer.

“Funding the chip manufacturing incentives and research investments called for in the CHIPS for America Act, as President Biden’s infrastructure plan would do, will strengthen U.S. semiconductor production and innovation across the board so all sectors of our economy have the chips they need,” Neuffer added.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai called Monday’s virtual summit an “excellent” meeting, adding, “we appreciate the Biden administration’s focus on the importance of semiconductor supply to innovation across industries.”

The vast majority of chipmaking today is reportedly based in Taiwan.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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