Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller has been named the 2022 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. Roula Khalaf, FT editor and chair of judges described Chip War as one of the most important books she had read this year. “The fight for semiconductors and the quest for supply chain resilience are among the biggest economic and business stories of our time and will be for much of the near future.”
Presented by Financial Times and funded by the the management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, the Business Book of the Year Award, first presented in 2005, goes to the book that provides “the most compelling and enjoyable” insight into modern business issues as determined by a panel of academics, writers and business people.
Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller
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 U.S. 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. But here, too, China is catching up, with its chip-building ambitions and military modernization going hand in hand. America has let key components of the chip-building process slip out of its grasp, contributing not only to a worldwide chip shortage but also a new Cold War with a superpower adversary that is desperate to bridge the gap.