October 20, 2022

Biden Just Clobbered China’s Chip Industry

Featuring Martijn Rasser

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Farhad Manjoo

Semiconductors are among the most intricate tools that human beings have ever invented. They are also among the most expensive to make.

The latest chips — the sort that power supercomputers and high-end smartphones — are densely packed with transistors so small they’re measured in nanometers. Perhaps the only things more ingenious than the chips themselves are the machines that are used to build them. These devices are capable of working on almost unimaginably tiny scales, a fraction of the size of most viruses. Some of the chip-building machines take years to build and cost hundreds of millions of dollars each; the Dutch company ASML, which makes the world’s only lithography machines capable of inscribing designs for the fastest chips, has produced just 140 such devices over the past decade.

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On the other hand, what choice does the United States have? “These technologies are going to be the foundation of economic strength over the next decades, and there are significant concerns about what the world would look like if China gained the upper hand,” Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told me. “It wouldn’t be a world that I would want to live in, and I don’t think most Americans or most of our friends and allies would want to live in it either.”

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Rasser served as a senior intelligence officer a...