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Europe awakens: «Chips Act» arrives to compete against the US and China

Without a doubt, the old continent is the one that is lagging the most of the big three, since the US has moved slowly but surely and China has been pressing the accelerator for almost 10 years. What the European Commission plans has taken two years to organize due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the delays are justified, but the necessary haste and the speed imposed have ended up clearing all doubts. This is the answer to your competitors.

Europe quietly leads much of the world’s technology

Although it seems that the US has a large part of the cake with Intel, AMD and NVIDIA, where China does the same with its companies and TSMC in between, all of them depend on two companies that dominate technology with an iron fist in different areas: ARM and ASML.

Although ARM is British, the agreements with the EU in the transfer of technologies have forced the UK and the continent to understand each other and transfer agreements to stay on top. If NVIDIA ends up acquiring ARM then we would be talking about a different paradigm, but for now the Softbank company continues to belong to the European Union technologically speaking.

Because it is important? ARM is the company that is in any device in the world, even AMD processors, so the technological mastery goes beyond what Intel, Lisa Su and NVIDIA achieve together. On the other hand, ASML is a solo and almost exclusive leader for wafer scanners, which are used by Samsung, TSMC and Intel. With these fresh arguments we are going to introduce ourselves into Chips Act, since although Ursula Von der Leyen It has been quite concise in the “official presentation” there are details to be discussed.

Chips Act, the new ecosystem to regain technological leadership

Semiconductors-UE

“Digital is the decisive question.” This is how blunt the president of the European Commission has been in presenting the strategy of the old continent:

We will present a new European chip law. The goal is to jointly create a European ecosystem of next-generation chips, including chip production. That guarantees our security of supply and will develop new markets for European technology at the innovation level.

Thierry Breton, EU Industry Commissioner, was more specific:

The race for the most advanced chips is a race for technological and industrial leadership. The Chips Act will cover research, production capacity and International cooperation.

The possible creation of a specific European Semiconductor Fund also slipped, mainly because funding will be needed to get this entire chain off the ground. In any case, the law should reflect how the EU acts with another key issue that dominates China: access to rare earth, mostly in Africa.

There are no details about this, but basically what is named indicates that the EU plans to make its own TSMC and together with the UK and ARM continue to lead the technological deployment around the world, a task that is not easy due to the delay it implies and that will take decades to catch up. , but everything would go through ASML, since if the most advanced scanners remain in the EU, the technological advantage and the stoppage to their competitors would be extremely high. The question is, can Europe afford this today? or is it something that could happen in the near future? China can offer access to rare earths at great prices, as well as the United States in smaller quantities, but what else?

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