Pat Gelsinger brought a clear message to the World Economic Forum in Davos: "The world needs geopolitically balanced and resilient supply chains." central elements for their modern national economies to secure themselves again.

That applies above all to its own industry: the chip industry.

Sven Astheimer

Responsible editor for corporate reporting.

  • Follow I follow

The current enormous problems in the supply chains are mainly a consequence of the Corona crisis, the associated uncertainties in the markets and the massive upheavals in the global economy.

Many companies have been painfully aware of their dependency on chips from Asia.

To date, due to a lack of semiconductors, all major car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Ford or Toyota can build and deliver far fewer vehicles than have been ordered from them.

Customers wait months for a new car.

The associated lost sales for car manufacturers now amount to hundreds of billions of euros.

This also puts the chip industry under pressure.

With record investments of 180 billion euros this year alone, it is trying to cushion the problem, at least in the medium term.

The end of the chip crisis is hardly in sight

In the words of Gelsinger, over the past 30 years, the processing industry all over the world has focused on "just in time", i.e. on the most cost-effective production and delivery of primary products distributed across the globe with the shortest possible storage times.

That has to change again.

Because, as the recent crisis has shown, it does not make supply chains very robust in times of scarce resources or production downtime.

Therefore, “just in case” will be the order of the day in the future.

So loosely translated: A system is needed that works stably in difficult times - even if it is a bit more expensive.

But this change takes time.

From Gelsinger's point of view, an end to the current chip crisis is only slowly emerging.

Contrary to earlier estimates, he does not expect the situation to ease until 2024.

He thinks little of speculation about an end to globalization given the isolation of Russia because of the Ukraine war or China's isolationist policy.

The opposite will be the case: the world will continue to network and move closer together.

"Only: We have become too dependent on Asia in some areas," he continues.

And his industry is definitely one of them.

Today around 80 percent of semiconductors come from a handful of manufacturers in Asia.

Last year, the Korean Samsung group knocked Intel off its throne as the world's top-selling semiconductor manufacturer.

The Taiwanese contract manufacturer TSMC has the more powerful chips and the more modern production processes.

Gelsinger wants to change that again.

Keywords: