Hardware and compute

Silicon Twist

Ryan Fedasiuk Karson Elmgren Ellen Lu
| June 2022

The Chinese military’s progress in artificial intelligence largely depends on continued access to high-end semiconductors. By analyzing thousands of purchasing records, this policy brief offers a detailed look at how China’s military comes to access these devices. The authors find that most computer chips ordered by Chinese military units are designed by American companies, and outline steps that the U.S. government could take to curtail their access.

Biden’s War on Chinese Computer Chips Harms Americans

The National Interest
| June 12, 2022

A CSET study found that the United States currently builds fewer fabs than the rest of the world.

Preserving the Chokepoints

Andre Barbe Will Hunt
| May 2022

Offshoring the production of semiconductor manufacturing equipment would remove an important source of leverage over China and make the United States more dependent on other countries for some of the most important inputs to semiconductor manufacturing. This brief explores the factors driving U.S. SME firms to offshore production and what can be done to slow or reverse offshoring.

CSET Research Fellow Emily Weinstein and CSET Non-Resident Senior Fellow Kevin Wolf discussed their proposal for a new export control regime among techno-democracies to better address contemporary challenges.

CSET Research Analyst Will Hunt and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory East Asia National Security Advisor John VerWey discussed the incentives, talent development and regulatory measures necessary to attract leading edge chip manufacturing to the United States.

The next microchip crisis will be bigger

Axios
| January 31, 2022

CSET Research Analyst Will Hunt shares his thoughts on the global chip shortage.

Since 1990, the U.S. share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has declined while the shares of China, South Korea, and Taiwan have increased. If carefully targeted, CHIPS for America Act incentives could reverse this trend for the types of chips that matter most to U.S. national security. In this policy brief, the author assesses how CHIPS Act incentives should be distributed across different types of chips.

As U.S. officials reportedly weigh instituting export controls targeting Russian industry, CSET Research Analyst Will Hunt discusses the implications of potential curbs on semiconductor exports on Russia's strategic technology ambitions.

AI and Compute

Andrew Lohn Micah Musser
| January 2022

Between 2012 and 2018, the amount of computing power used by record-breaking artificial intelligence models doubled every 3.4 months. Even with money pouring into the AI field, this trendline is unsustainable. Because of cost, hardware availability and engineering difficulties, the next decade of AI can't rely exclusively on applying more and more computing power to drive further progress.

Stanford HAI Director of Policy Russell Wald, CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn and Stanford HAI Postdoctoral Fellow Jeff Ding discussed how a National Research Cloud will impact U.S. national security.