Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller is a book about the semiconductor industry from its inception to our time. The author tells the story of the technical innovations from the invention of the transistor to the production of the first integrated circuit to the current sophisticated process of carving trillions of transistors in a small silicon wafer.
But Chip War is not only a book about technical innovation. Miller masterfully describes the strategies of the companies pushing the technologies and the drive of their founders and first collaborators, the inception of the industry starting with the military to its widespread adoption in the consumer market, the disaggregation of the production chain, and how each obstacle on the road was lifted by the determination and boldness of many visionaries and entrepreneurs of the time.
The author does the great job of framing the semiconductor industry’s growth with the geopolitical context of each period, be it the end of the Cold War or the current tensions between China and the US to seize an industry and supply chain that has become globalized and distributed.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in technology, strategy, and geopolitics.