Steve Clean Know-how, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors – Class 4- Semiconductors

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This text first appeared in West Level’s Trendy Warfare Institute.  


We simply accomplished the fourth week of our new nationwide safety class at Stanford – Know-how, Innovation and Nice Energy CompetitorsJoe FelterRaj Shah and I designed the category to cowl how expertise will form all the weather of nationwide energy (America’s affect and footprint on the world stage).

In class 1, we realized that nationwide energy is the mix of a rustic’s diplomacy (tender energy and alliances), info/intelligence, navy energy, financial power, finance, intelligence, and legislation enforcement. This “complete of presidency strategy” is thought by the acronym DIME-FIL.  And after 20 years targeted on counter terrorism, the U.S. is now engaged in nice energy competitors with each China and Russia.

At school 2 the category targeted on China, the U.S.’s major nice energy competitor. China is utilizing all components of nationwide energy: diplomacy (tender energy, alliances, coercion), info/ intelligence (utilizing its financial leverage over Hollywood, controlling the Covid narrative), its navy would possibly and financial power (Belt and Highway Initiative) in addition to exploiting Western finance and expertise. China’s purpose is to problem and overturn the U.S.-led liberal worldwide order and change it with a neo-totalitarian mannequin.

The third class targeted on Russia, which is asserting itself as an important energy challenger. We realized how Russia pursues safety and financial pursuits in parallel with its ideological goals. At instances, these aims complement one another. At different instances they conflict, Putin’s want to revive Russia into an important energy as soon as once more results in a overseas coverage that’s reverse the pursuits of the Russia individuals. As Putin himself has stated, “The collapse of the Soviet Union was a significant geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” and that quote gives a window to his worldview as he tries to remake Russia into an important energy as soon as once more.”

Having coated the weather of nationwide energy (DIME-FIL) and China and Russia, the category now shifts to the impression business applied sciences have on DIME-FIL. As we speak’s matter – Semiconductors.

Meet up with the category by studying our intro to the category, and summaries of Lessons 1, 2 and 3.


Class 4 Required Readings:

Silicon Valley, the Navy, and the Journey to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Moore’s Regulation & the World Semiconductor Business

Semiconductor Case Research

Studying Task Questions:

Choose one of many beneath questions and reply in roughly 100 phrases, based mostly on the required readings. Please be aware that this task might be graded and rely in direction of course participation.

  1. Describe the roles of Fred Terman, William Shockley, and Fairchild Semiconductor within the genesis of Silicon Valley. Who had a better function in creating Silicon Valley, Fred Terman or the Traitorous Eight?
  2. How would you characterize China’s try to catch-up within the semiconductor trade? Do you suppose China can credibly catch TSMC (with out an invasion of Taiwan)? Why or why not?

Dialogue Questions

  1. Put your self within the footwear of Mark Liu, chairman of TSMC: Do you view China as extra of a competitor or buyer – and why?
  2. Now think about you’re the NSC Senior Director with accountability for expertise technique. What’s the very first thing the U.S. Gov’t ought to do concerning semiconductors?

Class 4: Visitor Speaker
Our visitor speaker for our fourth class was John Hurley, former Member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, an skilled on semiconductors and provide chains, and former Captain, U.S. Military.

Lecture 4

In case you can’t see the slides, click on right here

Slide 4. The crucial function of semiconductors in nice energy competitors. Each our business and navy programs are depending on semiconductors. China spends extra on semiconductor imports than it does on oil. We framed the advances in expertise as a part of the 4th industrial revolution. Slides 5-7. We reminded the scholars of the function the DoD and IC performed at Stanford turning it into an outward-facing college, which kick-started expertise entrepreneurship right here in Silicon Valley.

Slides Sept. 11 Twin-use expertise. For the primary time in 75 years, federal labs and our prime contractors are not main innovation in lots of crucial applied sciences together with AI, machine studying, autonomy, biotech, business entry to area, and so forth. Speedy advances in these areas are actually occurring by way of business companies – many in China. This can be a radical change in the place superior expertise comes from. Within the U.S., the federal government is painfully studying easy methods to reorient its necessities and acquisition course of to purchase these business, off-the-shelf applied sciences. (Merchandise which can be offered commercially and to the DoD are referred to as “dual-use.”)

Slide 15. Semiconductor trade. We started a deep dive into semiconductors by drawing the map of the semiconductor trade (Slides 3-15 from this required studying.) 5 firms present the vast majority of the wafer fab tools wanted to make chips. TSMC is the main fab for manufacturing logic chips. (Slides 32-33 from this required studying.) Of the 29 new fabs beginning development in 2021-22, over half are in China and Taiwan.

Slide 16. TSMC Case. We took the category via the TSMC case research and mapped out the roles and pursuits of TSMC, China, Intel, and the U.S. Slides 17-18. We mentioned China’s drive for semiconductor independence, U.S. export controls on Huawei (why and its penalties,) the assorted constituencies of a U.S. semiconductor coverage (Commerce Division, DoD, U.S. chip makers, U.S. semi tools suppliers, and so forth.), whether or not TSMC’s success makes Taiwan kind of safe, given China’s objectives of reunification with Taiwan.

Slide 19-20. Coverage.  How do choice makers formulate coverage? Does it begin by asking “What downside can we wish to clear up?” Utilizing semiconductors for example, is it China’s entry to U.S. expertise?  Or is it China embedding this superior U.S.-designed expertise into their navy programs? Or what occurs to TSMC and Western entry to superior expertise if China quarantines or invades Taiwan?

How do coverage makers choose and slim an issue? Is it based mostly on the worth the coverage provides for recognized stakeholders? Is it a private ardour/curiosity? Particularly for China and semiconductors, what are potential answer concepts? Export controls? Stronger CFIUS rules? How do you bear in mind stakeholder suggestions (DoD, Commerce Division, business companies)? And when you create a coverage, how do you successfully implement it?

Slide 21 -23. Class midterm task: Assume you’re a coverage maker. Write a 2,000-word coverage memo that describes how a U.S. competitor is utilizing a selected expertise  (semiconductors, AI, autonomy, cyber, and so forth.) to counter U.S. pursuits. Suggest how the U.S. ought to reply.

Slides 25- 32 Group Tasks. We had a number of groups speak about their learnings from their out-of-the constructing interviews. Staff ShortCircuit (Slide 29) is engaged on how the U.S. ought to enhance its means to design and produce semiconductors, and develop and retain related expertise. They heard from a professor that the ratio of Stanford college students taking software program versus {hardware} programs was 10-to-1 software program, a whole reversal from a long time in the past. We mentioned whether or not  1) that was true or simply anecdotal 2) if true, was it the identical in different analysis universities, 3) why it occurred (software program startups are getting funded at obscene valuations)? 4) and how much incentives and insurance policies could be wanted to alter that, and 5) the place within the worth chain these is perhaps only (college students, enterprise capitalists, authorities, and so forth.)

Subsequent week: Synthetic Intelligence / Machine Studying

Classes Discovered

  • Semiconductors are the oil of the 21st All economies run on them.
  • Semiconductors are China’s greatest imports
  • China’s roadmap for constructing an indigenous semiconductor trade and accelerating chip manufacturing is the Nationwide Built-in Circuit Plan
    • The purpose is to satisfy its native chip demand by 2030
  • The U.S. relies on TSMC, situated in Taiwan, for its most superior logic chips
    • China claims Taiwan is a province of China
    • TSMC will construct a fab in Arizona, however it’s going to symbolize solely 2% of its capability
  • What are U.S. coverage makers’ choices?


11/02/2021 Know-how, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors – Class 4 – Semiconductors



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