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Chip war

I have recently enjoyed reading a book by Chris Miller called “Chip War: The fight for the world’s most critical technology”.  It is not an easy read, given that it is a fairly complicated field, but it is extremely informative and interesting and the Financial Times gave it its award as the business book of the year. 

The book explains how everything, including missiles and dishwashers, run on computer chips.  Part of the reason that Russia is struggling in its battle with Ukraine is that while it has more money and more people than Ukraine, it does not really have a very reliable computer chip industry and so their missiles and rockets are a lot less accurate than they would be otherwise.  In any event, that is just one example from the book and it deals much more with China, for example, which is investing billions in those computer chips to try and take away the lead that America has had as the number one super power.  The vast majority of chips are now made in Taiwan and Korea.

The book has a lot of history as well, explaining just how America’s computing power allowed it to win the Cold War against Russia.  It is all about national security and the role of semiconductors.   It is not an easy read and it would not suit most of my friends, but I did like an extract from a quote from the New York Times descrbing the book as – “A non-fiction thriller – equal parts The China Syndrome and Mission Impossible.”   One walks away learning that a majority of the chips and semiconductors are made in one factory in an earthquake zone in Taiwan.  One can understand the political ramifications in terms of China’s claims to Taiwan and the world-wide shortage of computer chips that could easily occur were anything to happen in Taiwan – a Chinese invasion or for that matter a serious earthquake.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

Post a Comment

Alexis  said:
on Thursday 16-Mar-23 12:21 PM
Not really a book I would read, and it would take me forever to read it, if I tried. I am more into fantasy books, especially by Feist. I am glad that it was inciteful, although difficult to read

Lauren  said:
on Wednesday 01-Mar-23 09:02 AM
I haven't read a good book in a while. This is definitely encouraging me to pick up a book again just seeing the wealth of information one can gain from a book alone.

Roxanne  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 10:35 AM
Wow that book sound interesting, it looks like a must read

Shona  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 10:02 AM
Perhaps things are made in the Earthquake Zone to be easily destroyed should anything ever happen?

Bianca Taljaard  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 09:36 AM
I can only imagine that this was a difficult read, that is so interesting, but why would you want to have the only factory in an earthquake zone, that doesn't sound very clever, and in Taiwan of all places.

Clare  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 09:14 AM
Must be earnest when I ready the heading "Chip War" my mind went straight to having actually chips (Simba chips) and having a war with When you know you need sleep... But when I read the rest of the blog it was all about tech this is scary to know that something so small as a microchip can actually destroy millions of people's lives as well as take lives. I am not really a book reader so I cannot tell you that I will read it, but I am sure it was a good read.

Jessica Moller  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 09:02 AM
Well, my partner loves Russian news, and he knows more than I would ever know lol. He knows that they do have very powerful weapons too. I guess not every country is going to tell other countries exactly what they have when coming to weapons ready for war. Considering nearly everything is made from China I wouldn't be surprised what they have even.

Jennefer Hart  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 07:58 AM
Sounds like an interesting book. If the accuracy of Russia's computer chips is questionable then I could imagine the extreme unreliability of South Africa's computer chips. Very interesting topic though

david  said:
on Tuesday 28-Feb-23 07:20 AM
1 factory inTaiwan?
talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.


Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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