Intel CFO sees diversification as key to combating supply chain challenges

Diversifying access to suppliers is essential to circumventing supply chain challenges as numerous geopolitical factors continue to affect global trade and commerce, David Zinsner, executive vice president and CFO for semiconductor chip manufacturer Intel, said during a panel hosted by the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

Ensuring access to a diverse list of potential suppliers is essential, Zinsner said, noting companies within the chip industry are also taking steps to grow their inventory in order to combat growing shortages of key materials.

“I think the industry in general is absolutely carrying larger buffer inventory to manage supply chain shocks and there’s multiple things that have occurred,” he said. “It’s not just one geopolitical pandemic, obviously, [there are] climate-related challenges that have occurred now more recently that certainly impacted supply chains so for sure, there needs to be an adjustment in the supply chain.”

Lockdowns, climate change, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and other global factors have made collecting the raw materials necessary for semiconductor chip creation, such as neon and palladium, increasingly difficult. Many of the raw materials needed to craft these chips are in “fairly concentrated regions,” Zinsner stated, noting Intel is speaking with both U.S. and European entities regarding the importance of global diversification to help to combat these and related difficulties.

“This really is a perfect example of why that’s necessary, because once there’s a shortage in one region of the world, it creates significant issues across the globe,” he said. “So we’re making a lot of investment in
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