A file photo of the 8080 microprocessor, the first microprocessor powerful enough to build a computer around, introduced by Intel in 1974. Pioneers like Intel designed and built chips in-house at the start of the modern computing industry. By the 1980s, American firms, struggling against Japanese competitors, began outsourcing the fabricating sides of their businesses and concentrated on the more profitable design aspect of the chip. The US has recently turned to global silicon trade for a geostrategic reason. A tech cold war with China began in early 2021 when semiconductor chip shortage and delayed delivery times set off alarms about its utter dependence on China.