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Why Qualcomm Won’t Built Its Own Foundry

Cristiano Amon, the president and new CEO of Qualcomm, sat down for a wide-ranging interview on the Decoder podcast.

During it, he discussed why Qualcomm, despite being the world’s biggest chip designer, won’t be building a foundry.

“It’s because we’re not good at that,” Amon told the interviewer.

“We’re good at building chips and designing chips. We’re not good at foundry, but sometimes customers want us to do everything. This is not news to us.

“We always had Samsung, for example, who had their own modem and their own chip, but over the years, I think the Qualcomm relationship with Samsung has remained stable. Right now, it is on an upswing trajectory. We keep focused on doing what we do best and see what happens.

Amon was recently elected chairman of the United States Semiconductor Industry Association, where two of his priorities are to ensure funding for the CHIPS Act and get the FABS Act enacted.

“We advocate strongly for a geo-diversified, resilient supply chain,” he explains.

“This is so important for the economy. I think we know that right now — whether it’s the auto industries or anything else you buy — chips are very important for our economy.

“We needed to make sure that we have resilient, geo-diversified investments in the United States of foundries. It’s very important. Even new players — when Intel indicated they would like to be a foundry, we raised our hand and said, “We’ll work with them,” and we’re engaged with them as well. We work with anybody.

“On top of that, I actually really like the current discussions there have been between the Europeans and the United States. They’re both trying to solve the same problem and work in coordination. I don’t think one company or one region will be able to solve all of our demands for semiconductors, but we have to do something now to make sure we have a resilient supply chain for the next decades.”

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