Intel’s recent agreement to make chips for Taiwan’s UMC at its fabs in Arizona marks a strategic alignment with the US CHIPS Act, which seeks to increase chip manufacturing capacity on US soil. It also signals a significant shift in the semiconductor industry, intertwining technological expansion with geopolitical dynamics.
UMC and Intel will together develop a new manufacturing technology targeting applications such as networking, mobile, and communication infrastructure, with production expected to begin in Ocotillo, Arizona, in 2027. This, they said, will give customers “access to a geographically diverse semiconductor supply chain.”
Enterprises have already seen the consequences that an over-concentrated semiconductor supply chain can have on supplies of PCs, phones, and other electronic devices, some of which were in short supply for months after the COVID lockdowns.