A few weeks ago, President Biden was in the Netherlands, where he asked the Dutch government to restrict export from a company called ASML to China. ASML is the only company in the world that makes a specific machine needed to make the most advanced chips. Apple couldn’t make iPhone chips without this one machine from the Netherlands’ biggest company. ASML doesn’t just shape the Dutch economy—it shapes the entire world economy. How did that happen?
Chris Miller, Tufts professor and author of Chip War: The Fight For The World’s Most Critical Technology walked me through a lot of this, along with some deep dives into geopolitics and the absolutely fascinating chip manufacturing process. This one has everything: foreign policy, high powered lasers, hotshot executives, monopolies, the fundamental limits of physics, and, of course, Texas. Here we go.
Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Jackie McDermott and it was edited by Callie Wright.
The Decoder music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Our Editorial Director is Brooke Minters and our Executive Director is Eleanor Donovan.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices