March 30, 2022


Amazing chip race

As chips become smaller and more dense, the electronics that use them become faster and more power-efficient. The most advanced chips currently in production use a 5nm process, and 3nm is the next key developmental target. One of our recent questions helps us understand how likely it is that Intel will be able to reach this milestone within a 1-2 year timeframe, which helps to signal whether U.S.-based manufacturing will catch up to industry leaders in Taiwan (TSMC) and South Korea (Samsung).

Which company will start volume production on a 3nm chip or smaller before 17 Sep 2023? 
Make a forecast


China's chip exposure

Can China achieve its goal of becoming the world leader in AI by 2030? Currently, the country has one big weakness: it relies on chips from the U.S. and the rest of the world. It's why China is investing heavily in its domestic chip manufacturing capability. Semiconductor manufacturing equipment, including photolithography machines, are a key compenent of this capability. Since Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment (SMEE) Co. is the only company in China that makes this equipment, INFER is monitoring whether SMEE will make significant progress in manufacturing more advanced lithography machines.  
In 2022, will Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment Co. list a new lithography machine as an available product on its website? 
Make a forecast


Let the challenge(s) begin

INFER is giving away more than $12,000 in our first series of reward challenges! To recognize your contributions, we have posted rewards for accuracy, monthly participation, research effort, and more. Check them out and make sure you don't miss any opportunities to win.
Note: In our February newsletter, we promoted a team challenge for March and indicated that more details would be forthcoming. That challenge is being postponed to a later month. 


INFER is forecasting*...

+ 62% chance (+9% in 7 days) Samsung becomes the largest semiconductor company by sales revenue in 2022, beating Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), and others. 

+ 57% chance (-4% in 7 days) TSMC announces plans to build a semiconductor fab in Europe in 2022. 

+ 36% chance (+10% in 7 days) U.S. Congress passes a tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing and design. 

+ 6% chance (+1% in 7 days) Events involving Russian security forces result in 25+ fatalities in a NATO member state before 1 April 2023. 

+ 22% chance (NEW) Events involving Russian security forces result in 25+ fatalities in Georgia or Moldova before 1 April 2023. 

+ 51% chance (NEW) The highest number of ACLED recorded protests/riots in a single month in Russia between 1 April 2022-1 April 2023 will be between 200 and 400. 

*Forecasts update in real-time and may be different on INFER by the time you read this. 


On draft at The Pub

Our latest blog posts introduce two of INFER's priority areas (U.S. future competitiveness in AI and microelectronics). We explain how we break down each area into forecast questions that serve as signals for the future outlook.  
Assessing U.S. competitiveness in AI using crowdsourced forecasting
Microelectronics: A major factor for assessing U.S. competitiveness in AI
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The INFER Public Team
Copyright © 2022
INFER is a forecasting program run by the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland and Cultivate Labs. Funding is provided by Open Philanthropy
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