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The world of silicon: it's dog eat dog [semiconductor industry]

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2 Author(s)
Santo, B. ; IEEE Spectrum, New York, NY, USA ; Wollard, K.

Competition in the semiconductor industry is discussed, focusing on the changes that have taken place in the wake of the 1985 worldwide sales slump. This report is based on two pane discussions and conversations with industry veterans around the world. The following conclusions emerged: manufacturing skills the world over have reached parity; the costs of production equipment, facilities, and research and development have all skyrocketed, and only the largest of companies have the resources to remain competitive on a global basis; optical lithography is expected to be useful at least down to 0.35 mu m geometries; cooperative ventures and networks of alliances are inevitable if a company wants to remain at the forefront of technology; the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) market has become a self-sustaining business; vertical integration is going to be a virtual necessity for any company that wants to remain a leading supplier; and the lack of truly sophisticated design tools continues to be a major hindrance to advanced IC design.<>

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 9 )