Chips and Change: How Crisis Reshapes the Semiconductor by Clair Brown, Greg Linden

By Clair Brown, Greg Linden

For many years the semiconductor has been a motive force of world monetary development and social swap. Semiconductors, quite the microchips necessary to such a lot digital units, have reworked computing, communications, leisure, and undefined. In Chips and Change, Clair Brown and Greg Linden hint the over greater than two decades via 8 technical and aggressive crises that pressured it to evolve that allows you to proceed its exponential expense of more advantageous chip functionality. The industry's alterations have in flip shifted the root on which organizations carry or achieve international aggressive advantage.

those 8 interrelated crises would not have tidy beginnings and ends. such a lot, in reality, are nonetheless ongoing, frequently in altered shape. The U.S. semiconductor industry's worry that it might be overtaken through Japan within the Nineteen Eighties, for instance, foreshadows present issues over the recent international opponents China and India. The intersecting crises of emerging expenses for either layout and production are compounded via client strain for decrease costs. different crises mentioned within the booklet contain the industry's regular march towards the boundaries of physics, the fierce pageant that retains its earnings modest while improvement bills bounce, and the worldwide look for engineering talent.

different high-tech industries face crises in their personal, and the semiconductor has a lot to educate approximately how industries are reworked based on such robust forces as technological swap, transferring product markets, and globalization. Chips and Change additionally deals insights into how chip organizations have built, defended, and, on occasion, misplaced worldwide aggressive virtue.

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Extra resources for Chips and Change: How Crisis Reshapes the Semiconductor Industry

Sample text

Meanwhile, changes on the manufacturing side also supported the separation of design. During the 1980s, the metal-oxide–semiconductor (MOS) process gradually became the mainstream semiconductor fabrication technology. Unlike the power-hungry bipolar process that dominated through the 1970s, MOS offered the long-term advantage that the performance of its microcomponents improved uniformly as their physical dimensions shrunk (Bassett 2002, p. 44). MOS therefore provided a predictable technology trajectory for designers to target.

The government played an important role with both macroeconomic and industry-level policies. Loss of Competitive Advantage 19 US firms worked hard to raise the yield of their factories and the quality of their output. 4 parts per million. The tools involved, such as statistical process control, already existed, but Six Sigma marshaled them in a long-term effort that emphasized employee involvement in preventing, rather than detecting, problems. US chip firms also overcame their aversion to ‘‘not invented here’’ know-how.

Meanwhile the share of US firms fell from 60 percent in 1980 to 30 percent in 1990, and then recovered only slightly. Meanwhile the ‘‘rest of world’’ category, primarily Korea, starts from zero in 1980, and grows to 33 percent in 1997. Ironically, the emphasis on quality and reliability that brought Japanese firms to the top of the memory chip industry was part of their undoing, as the primary application markets for memory shifted from mainframes, where long-term reliability was highly valued, to personal computers and consumer products with more limited life spans (Cole and Matsumiya 2007).

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