Semiconductors and SEMATECH: Rebirth of a Strategic Industry?
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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In 1980, the U.S. semiconductor industry represented the pinnacle of technology, easily leading the world in the production of semiconductor computer chips. By the end of the decade, U.S. semiconductor manufacturers had suffered through a precipitous decline in the percentage of chips produced for the world semiconductor market. In ten short years, the capabilities of American firms compared with those of the Japanese had declined to the point where the positions of the two nations were reversed. In 1989 Japan was the irrefutable world class leader. This paper examines the vital importance of the semiconductor industry to our national and economic security. It explores the Japanese business environment and philosophy plus their success in capturing the lead in semiconductor manufacturing and production. The creation of SEMATECH, a consortium formed between the federal government and industry, provides a mechanism for the U.S. to regain the lead in semiconductor technology and production. Operations within SEMATECH draw upon the best characteristics of Japanese and American industry and produce dramatic improvements within the U.S. semiconductor industry. The SEMATECH success story offers a model for creation of other pre-competitive consortiums in order to regain a technology lead over our competitors.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems