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US needs 20 years to become self-reliant in making silicon chips, says NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang

NVIDIA President Jensen Huang acknowledged at The New York Times’ DealBook conference in New York that the United States is likely two decades away from achieving self-sufficiency in chip-making, dispelling hopes for a more immediate break from overseas dependence.

Huang highlighted the intricate global supply chain upon which his company relies, spanning various components from different regions, including Taiwan, a critical hub for chip manufacturing.

Huang stated, “We are somewhere between a decade and two decades away from supply chain independence,” emphasizing the impracticality of achieving such independence in the short term.

This perspective contrasts with the Biden administration’s goal of bolstering domestic chip manufacturing with bipartisan legislation and efforts to attract significant semiconductor companies to expand operations in the US.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), NVIDIA’s primary manufacturing partner, is among the companies planning to enhance operations in the US. Other major players like Samsung Electronics and Intel are also pursuing expansion plans.

The global push for more localized manufacturing is part of a broader trend to address vulnerabilities created by decades of globalization and concentration of production in specific regions, such as Taiwan and South Korea.

Despite export restrictions imposed by the US government, Huang reaffirmed NVIDIA’s commitment to China, emphasizing its status as the largest chip market.

NVIDIA has been navigating restrictions on selling its most potent artificial intelligence processors to China. Still, Huang stated that the company is developing products that comply with regulations to continue its presence in the Chinese market.

Huang also warned of unintended consequences from such export restrictions, pointing out that approximately 50 Chinese companies are actively developing technologies that could compete with NVIDIA’s offerings.

Balancing the pursuit of business opportunities with national security considerations remains a challenge for companies in the semiconductor industry amid evolving geopolitical dynamics.

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