“We are the unquestioned compute leader, and Qualcomm’s the unquestioned comms leader – compute meets comms – right – a lot of new use cases,” Gelsinger told CNBC, “between these two powerhouses of U.S. technology, I think we can do some pretty amazing things and complement in conjunction with each other and really help accelerate U.S. competitiveness, not just in semiconductors, but in core technology areas for the planet.”
“There’s a lot of opportunities for the companies to cooperate,” said Amon who takes over as Qualcomm CEO on July 1st, “we look at Intel and Qualcomm as true technology companies in the United States, we do a lot of advanced fundamental research to push the industry forward.”
“We’re very happy about building a much more resilient supply chain, with the on-shoring of Semiconductor manufacturing, I think that’s very important,” said Amon.
One of the forces pulling comms and computing closer together is 5G, said Amon.
“The easiest way to talk about 5G – the elevator pitch on 5G – is connect everything to the cloud 100 percent of the time in a reliable manner, and what basically 5G allows us is to build on one integrated computer from the edge and the cloud, you have computing and connectivity all working together,” said Amon, “and with that it’s we’re going to see a significant transformation in our era. In the same way that 4G mobile broadband drove computing to go to the palm of your hand, 5G is going to connect everything. We’re going to see context and data links and artificial intelligence evolving at a much faster pace.”
Gelsinger sees O-RAN as already a great success. “If we were here three or four years ago it would be, oh, no, right, we can’t do 5G, it’s owned by these vertical stacks,” said Gelsinger, “Huawei has won that market and they’re crushing everybody else. Every piece of my communications – your communications – is at risk as a result of that. Here we are four years later, strong focus on building the 5G industry, doing it with open platforms, and most of those are built on Intel silicon. Then with Open RAN as an open interface breaking apart the air interface from the base stations that run on it and a flourishing ecosystem of new companies are emerging, many of them American.”
”So it’s like all of a sudden software and silicon have conquered — innovation has conquered what was seen as a geopolitical crisis just three or four years ago, technology wins and we’re able to open up the engine of technical innovation of America, we will do just fine,” added Gelsinger, “and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with O-RAN, vRAN, and 5G right now. It really is great success story for American ingenuity.”
Gelsinger foresees ten good years ahead for the semiconductor industry. “We believe the market, the world, is in a very expansionary period,” said Gelsinger, “I predict there’s 10 good years in front of us, because the world is becoming more digital, and everything digital needs semiconductors.”
“We have years just to catch up to what we see on the books today, and we’re hearing our customers, the backlog is remaining extremely strong,” said Gelsinger.
Before the end of this year, Gelsinger intends to announce a new ‘megafab’ either in Europe or the USA.
“We’re going to open our doors wide,” concluded Gelsinger, “and we’re going to be a foundry for the world, because the world needs a more geographically balanced supply chain. And they’re also looking for the security for our economy and our national security of having it on U.S. and European soil, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”