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Intel says US chipmakers should be priority over TSMC, Samsung

Gelsinger claims Taiwan unstable place due to continued Chinese military harassment

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Intel.

Intel. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. should invest more in domestic chipmakers over Asian companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Samsung, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said Wednesday (Dec. 1).

During a speech at the Fortune Brianstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California, Gelsinger said that while pending legislation to boost semiconductor manufacturing “should support Samsung and TSMC,” the government also needed to invest more in U.S. companies like Micron, Texas Instruments, and Intel, Nikkei reported.

Gelsinger was referring to the CHIPS Act, which includes US$52 billion earmarked for chipmakers in the U.S. The bill passed the Senate in June but has been stalled in the House of Representatives.

“Taiwan is not a stable place,” Gelsinger claimed, adding that Beijing sent 27 military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone this week. “Does that make you feel more comfortable or less?”

TSMC has already begun construction on a US$12 billion chip plant in Arizona, while Samsung announced last week that it will pour in US$17 billion to construct a new chip fab in Texas. Gelsinger said that while this can help America reduce some geopolitical risk, investing in U.S. chipmakers would be more beneficial.

“Do you want to own the IP, the R&D, and tax stream associated with that or do you want that going back to Asia?” Gelsinger said. The Intel CEO also added that government subsidies are vital for the company to help compete with industry leaders TSMC and Samsung, Nikkei said.

Gelsinger said that the Taiwanese and Korean governments support their local chipmakers with large subsidies. “How do you compete with a 30 to 40% subsidy? Because that means we’re not competing with TSMC or Samsung, we’re competing with Taiwan and Korea.” He also said that subsidies in China are even larger.

According to Statista data cited by Nikkei, TSMC currently controls 52.9% of the global foundry market, while Samsung maintains a 17.3% share. Intel has struggled to keep up with both Asian companies in terms of cutting-edge semiconductors, and Intel’s latest offerings are still several generations behind TSMC and Samsung.