The Financial Times Business Book of the Year, this epic account of the decades-long battle to control one of the world’s most critical resources—microchip technology—with the United States and China increasingly in fierce competition is “pulse quickening…a nonfiction thriller” (The New York Times).
You may be surprised to learn that microchips are the new oil—the scarce resource on which the modern world depends. Today, military, economic, and geopolitical power are built on a foundation of computer chips. Virtually everything—from missiles to microwaves—runs on chips, including cars, smartphones, the stock market, even the electric grid. Until recently, America designed and built the fastest chips and maintained its lead as the #1 superpower, but America’s edge is in danger of slipping, undermined by players in Taiwan, Korea, and Europe taking over manufacturing. Now, as Chip War reveals, China, which spends more on chips than any other product, is pouring billions into a chip-building initiative to catch up to the US. At stake is America’s military superiority and economic prosperity.
Economic historian Chris Miller explains how the semiconductor came to play a critical role in modern life and how the US became dominant in chip design and manufacturing and applied this technology to military systems. America’s victory in the Cold War and its global military dominance stems from its ability to harness computing power more effectively than any other power. Until recently, China had been catching up, aligning its chip-building ambitions with military modernization.
Illuminating, timely, and fascinating, Chip War is “an essential and engrossing landmark study" (London Times).