Born again Buybacks
Intel has blown abut 80 billion in buybacks. Here their Carnival Barker born-again CEO is after some Hot Gov money even after already failing miserably at 10 nm scale. There is a reason FAB is in Asia and not the US. It is a terribly manpower-intensive manufacturing process not suitable for the Kavaja drinking unfocused Western employee. This guy from Intel has zero experience in semiconductors. His background is in software.
Granted the Gov has helped destroy Intel. Obama blocked an INTEL CPU sale to China for a supercomputer. Rahh rahh rahhh. Fifteen months later China had their own fast RISC chip and laid claim to the ever-changing World's fastest Supercomputer.
Intel misses the handheld market. Why? No Asian firms wanted to have the Gov blocking chips for their products. So simple. So Intel was out in the cold. Failed at 5G. The list of failures is endless. This is not the Intel of Noyce, Moore, and Grove. It is a carnival barker trying to ridge the Gov Gravytrain of picking winners.
I will repeat over and over again, protectionism against China doesn't work. They are the largest BUYER of semiconductors. IF you don't sell to China, your chip dies on the shelf. Taiwan's largest customer is Mainland China. The US.
So let's buy into the Biden plan to give 56 Billion to Semiconductor companies. Let's say Intel builds three Fab plants, and Samsung build one in Arizona where there is no water and even TSMC builds one. Who is going to take there chips to Intel for Fab? Or Samsung? TSMC is the only pure FAB company. The rest are competitors. Are you going to share your designs with Intel and Samsung? Oh sure...
And what happens to Taiwan when TSMC in Taiwan is no longer important to the US? Taiwan gets dumped faster than you can say Afgoonistan.
The great thing about semiconductors before Trump and Biden came along is that it was a global division of labor. ARM did not get to be ARM by staying inside the UK. They went to Asia. They competed. But the moment ARM started getting blocked by the US to China, then up came RISK-V. Did blocking Huawei from ARM stop 5G and the future of 6G? NO. Huawei is building networks all over Asia.
Blocking nonsense makes Companies paranoid. Why do you think Samsung made their own Exynos phone chips and reduced Qualcomm Snapdragon? The US can block Qualcomm any time they don't like you. Every Asian phone maker now has a plan B chip. But Huawei is also changing 5G networks to be linked to more supercomputers to reduce the computational load on phones. So Asians will not need the fastest phones when they link into the most powerful networks.
Every time I post out here I get a raft of downvotes from protectionists. If you think the Nancy Kerrigan kneecapping strategy will win Olympic gold, you are sadly mistaken. As for China, the are relentless. They are already building world class ion implanters. The CEO of ASML say that by 2030 China will be self-sufficient and won't need ASML machines or anything else from Europe.
Yet every other story we have the Boris and company blocking the sale of some marginal British tech company because suddenly it is a national security issue. How is it a national security issue? A Chinese Firm owns Smithfield in the US and one of the amazing things is throughout COVID Smithfield has managed to keep its supply chain running in spite of shortages of feed and other issue. Maybe Chinese run businesses better. Employes aren't complaining.
The US and British Gov keep trying to pick winners... can you find a single winner among their endless failures? How bout Amtrak? Exactly.