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View All "Securities" by Lux Capital Posts

Semiconductors are ubiquitous in modern life, powering our appliances, smartphones, cars and electronics. That’s led to soaring demand from consumers, companies and governments much to the chip industry’s benefit, but its centrality to the global economy has also brought heightened scrutiny from analysts concerned by the deep dependency we have on a handful of companies around the world producing these products.

The semiconductor industry is now on the front pages of news sites almost daily, but its story and history show that this isn’t a new development, but rather a continuation of decades of globalization and competitions for international economic supremacy.

“Securities” host Danny Crichton is joined by Fletcher School professor Chris Miller, whose new book “Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology” offers a panoramic global view on one of the world’s most important industries. The book has already been shortlisted for best business book of the year by The Financial Times.

In this episode, we discuss how geopolitics influenced the evolution of chips, the Soviet chip industry and how it struggled due to a lack of a consumer market, the transition from human computers to chips, the importance of the pocket calculator in chip history, the transition from Hong Kong to Taiwan in outsourcing assembly, how TSMC became the leader in lead edge fabrication, free trade and its centrality to the industry, and finally, whether interlinkages help or ultimately hurt national security for countries like the U.S. and China.

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