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  • Chip War

  • The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology
  • By: Chris Miller
  • Narrated by: Stephen Graybill
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (456 ratings)

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Chip War cover art

Chip War

By: Chris Miller
Narrated by: Stephen Graybill
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Summary

***Winner of the 2022 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award***
***Selected as one of Barack Obama's Favourite Books of 2023***

An epic account of the decades-long battle to control the world's most critical resource—microchip technology

Power in the modern world - military, economic, geopolitical - is built on a foundation of computer chips. America has maintained its lead as a superpower because it has dominated advances in computer chips and all the technology that chips have enabled. (Virtually everything runs on chips: cars, phones, the stock market, even the electric grid.) Now that edge is in danger of slipping, undermined by the naïve assumption that globalising the chip industry and letting players in Taiwan, Korea and Europe take over manufacturing serves America's interests. Currently, as Chip War reveals, China, which spends more on chips than any other product, is pouring billions into a chip-building Manhattan Project to catch up to the US.

In Chip War economic historian Chris Miller recounts the fascinating sequence of events that led to the United States perfecting chip design, and how faster chips helped defeat the Soviet Union (by rendering the Russians’ arsenal of precision-guided weapons obsolete). The battle to control this industry will shape our future. China spends more money importing chips than buying oil, and they are China's greatest external vulnerability as they are fundamentally reliant on foreign chips. But with 37 per cent of the global supply of chips being made in Taiwan, within easy range of Chinese missiles, the West's fear is that a solution may be close at hand.

©2022 Christopher Miller. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Critic reviews

"An indispensable book'" (Niall Ferguson)

"Pulse quickening. A nonfiction thriller - equal parts The China Syndrome and Mission Impossible." (New York Times)

"Fascinating… A historian by training, Miller walks the reader through decades of semiconductor history – a subject that comes to life thanks to [his] use of colorful anecdotes." (Forbes)

What listeners say about Chip War

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  • 12-09-23

Slow start

Perhaps a slow start for listeners who are already reasonably familiar with the history of semiconductors. I skipped 20 chapters directly into the 90s.

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Excellent overview of the semiconductor industry and the importance of Taiwan

Super overview of key semiconductor developments and players like Taiwan’s TSMC, demise of Intel etc

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Compelling, well written and narrated

A very well written, well narrated, very interesting book.
Covers a bit of history of the integrated circuits and explains how the industry has evolved to the point where it gained a strategic value and is now a strategic battleground between the ruling and the aspiring powers. It is rather fascinating how the current situation came to be and the author leaves a not so veiled criticism of the US laissez faire policy that sort of gave away the control of chip related technologies now crucial both economically and militarily. The pivotal role of Taiwan in the chip industry is one of the relevant issues addressed and it is also an open question, well summarized by the current Taiwanese president's opinion that her role in the chip industry is also key for Taiwan to remain independent of mainland China.

A thoroughly enjoyable reading.

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Fascinating book. Lots of info, but flows really well

This was a fascinating book. It covers a lot of technical info, but is presented so well that it doesn’t feel heavy, or a hard slog

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Massive story

This book is so intelligent:-)
You may understand much better the things happen in the world after reading this book.

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Great, factual, detailed and heavy

If you like factual, unemotional, heavy, non fiction then knock yourself out with this audio book.

I really enjoyed it. Goes into detail on the history, economics, politics and global dependency the world has on semiconductors.

A good outline of the technology when it emerged post World War II up to present day from smartphones, home computers and everyday appliances to the military and modern warfare.

I find the subject matter fascinating so I was an easy customer. It’s not light reading but then I guess I knew that before starting it.

Eye opening on how the semiconductor/chip industry came into being and scary how certain nations are really getting ahead in this field (not to mention any names…….China).

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Informative, compelling summary of chip industry

A really interesting account of the development of the computer chip and its effect on war and geopolitics

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Amazing approach on how the Tech world controls everything!

Chip War is a deep approach on how America, Japan, China and Russia rule the world of tech and its components. A truly detailed and informative depth on how everything we use from smartphones to home routers are linked together by companies we may or may never heard of but play an incremental part in delivering the necessary approach to push humanity forward. 10/10 and a must read for all tech enthusiasts and world economy

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Fascinating and terrifying!

It is breathtaking how much has been achieved in chip design and manufacturing and it is absolutely shocking how… fragile… the entire industry is!

This is a essential reading; it will change your perspective on many things!

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Very insigthfull book!

Great narration with a lot of insights over the past development and historical growth of Semicon industry vs the potential future and the associated risks around it.

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