Senior executive at US think tank
- Build-up of geopolitical tensions among the US, China and Taiwan and the effects on the semiconductor industry
- Market environment after recent export ban broadening to China
- Implications and appetite for AI
- 2023 policy outlook
Could you discuss why the semiconductor industry is so integrated and so affected by policy? Can you give some historical context around this?
Given how cyclical the industry is, a lot of previous Forum specialists recently have said that there are many signs, whether it’s inventory lead times or just the supply chain in general, that point to some alleviation in the current cycle. Do you agree? If so, what are some of these signs?
You mentioned the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is obviously a pretty pertinent current event. What is the conflict’s impact on raw materials specifically, as well as the global value chains that are pretty deeply connected with these?
Can you outline the effect of China’s zero-COVID-19 policies, as well as the lockdowns we’ve seen of entire provinces where major factories that are super dependent on this value chain are located? What is the trajectory of these policies and lockdowns?
Could you speak to the aggressiveness we’re seeing towards the entity list, especially recently? What might be the outlook for this?
In previous Forum Interviews I’ve heard mixed reviews, with some specialists saying, “It’s just another trade restriction along the semiconductor cycle,” and then others such as yourself that are describing the historical significance of the export bans. I’m definitely leaning more towards what you’re saying after some of the points you outlined. Would you say the significance of these bans comes from the immediate effects, some of which you outlined and some that we might see as a result in the next 2-3 years coming from these bans?
How much of the US 2022 CHIPS [Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors] Act’s passage would you say has to do directly with matters of national security and military technology? How does the administration plan to mitigate these risks and problems that were identified in the Act?
Speaking of the economic component, what’s your outlook on the CHIPS Act especially given that it’s no overnight solution? We talked about how long it takes to bring a fab online, as well as outfitting the shell and figuring out what node it will process. Do you expect anything significant to happen in 2023?
What’s the industry’s sentiment on the US government’s ability to efficiently distribute the funds we’re discussing? Obviously, this is the largest fabs listed as well as Intel, being the major foundry.
Could you speak about the limits that the US government and companies might see to domestic reshoring of fabs?
In terms of Intel’s capabilities post-CHIPS Act, or as we’re seeing it develop during the process, do you think the company can catch up to TSMC? If so, what are the necessary steps to enable it to do so?
You mentioned the fabs, and Intel is not the only one positioning to take advantage of the incentives. Companies such as Wolfspeed, Micron, TI – even though it deals with more on the trailing-edge – and even TSMC declared new plans for bringing fabs online within the US. How do you predict the screening process to play out for the US government to successfully administer these funds?
It’s no secret that a lot of companies will experience significant losses from the export bans. How much do you think will be offset by being able to sell into the US now as domestic capacity hopefully ramps? What’s your outlook here?
Given all of China’s troubles right now and the major problems we’re seeing with the economy and within the shortages, would you say we’re seeing it exposed due to how interconnected and dependent China is on other countries for its value chain?
A problem that has been developing for quite some time is what’s going on at Huawei, and a lot of countries starting to present some discomfort to the bans, as we’ve seen with Germany recently. What’s happening at Huawei, and what’s the significance here?
In the consumer electronics market that Huawei plays in, China accounts for 35% of the ratio of finished chips sold to electronic companies. Post the export bans, do you predict a massive change now in this share?
What do you think China’s response will be to everything we’ve discussed? Might it try to get the US to change, plea, look for other partners or, as you were saying, although there are many inherent risks, will it try to move it all internally?
Given China and Taiwan could lose out on a lot more customers or revenue if the US increases its own semiconductor production, what do you think the response will be on Taiwan’s end?
Do you think what we’re seeing now is just a sign for the public to expect more policy integrated as we head into 2023 and beyond?
We’re seeing AI be a focus, a leading edge, 14nm and under, more specifically. Do you believe these certain areas in semiconductors will continue to face stricter and harsher restrictions, or do you see this broadening into other subsectors?
You brought up the interesting question about whether demand will be able to increase at the same rate capacity increases. As we see fabs increasingly come online outside of China and the value chains move outside of China, what’s your opinion here? Do you think demand will be able to keep up, because if we see a big imbalance, the glut will be bigger than anything we’ve seen so far?
What is your outlook for the industry and the integration of policy in 2023 and beyond? What are you most excited about, and what worries you the most?
Do you see the innovations coming more heavily from manufacturing or package and assembly or testing?
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