Intel's Inside the Trump Administration


China is undeniably tempting; given both their market size and their willingness to subsidize rather generously when it suits them; but the strength of their desire for indigenous CPU/high-end semiconductor capabilities strongly suggests that anyone who cooperates with them is either a sucker or planning on cashing out in the relatively short term.

Their aggressively priced ARM licencees (most notably AllWinner) have been the ones racking up the design wins; but the MIPS-based ‘Longsoon’ stuff and the somewhat-sparse-on-the-details SW26010 appear to be the darlings of state-sponsored efforts to develop more or less entirely indigenous hardware.

None of that is much use without a decent process to fab it on, though, even the most elegant CPU design at 65nm is going to have a hard time comparing favorably to even mediocre designs that have the advantage of contemporary processes. Since decent fabrication processes are the component China is currently weakest on; they will likely make a quite generous offer to anyone who is willing to set up shop; but given their desire for locally controlled high tech production; their new fab buddy will very likely be shown the door after they have finished using them for technology transfer.


There have been rumors that Trump will cancel the Conflict Minerals legislation. This would be a nice gift for Intel. Guess if it is related…


That’s a really good point.


Interesting to note that as per US law, intel and others aren’t even allowed to manufacture their latest chip fabs overseas. Hence the reason the china plant is still at 65nm. This factory was going to be built stateside one way or another and still… Trump will claim it’s his win because he kept the factory here and his supporters will tow the line because they (like he) don’t read and have no sense of context.


3000 jobs is also about 4% of one day’s job losses (and gains) in the US:


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