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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The U.S. Needs Its Own Chips

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Illustration shows flag of Taiwan on a microprocessor.

Credit: Mike Sullivan.

The intentions of the People's Republic of China (PRC) toward Taiwan are clear—it intends to take possession of the island and thereby "reunify" China. A successful or attempted conquest of Taiwan would either give the PRC full control over the island's semiconductor industry or result in the partial or total destruction of that industry.

Either outcome has tremendous implications for geopolitics, technological innovation, and economic growth. U.S. business and political leaders need to start asking and answering some questions, including: What would the relationship between the U.S. and China look like if the PRC controlled Taiwan with a mostly intact semiconductor supply chain? What would happen if Taiwan's semiconductor supply chain were damaged or destroyed?

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