Sematech: Saving the U.S. Semiconductor Industry
Texas A&M University Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 279 pages
Although the microchip is an American invention, early, unbridled competition among U.S. companies and the worldwide race for new products allowed the Japanese to move in on the microchip market. By the 1980s, Japan dominated the industry, in this country as well as abroad, and the U.S. semiconductor industry faced irrecoverable loss of production capability. Desperation led to the creation of Sematech.
In Sematech, Larry D. Browning and Judy C. Shetler trace the history of Sematech, a consortium formed by fourteen major American semiconductor manufacturers and the U.S. government. Its goal: "To provide the U.S. semiconductor industry the capability for world leadership in manufacturing". Sematech was formed to improve manufacturing competence, not to develop specific products.
By 1994, U.S. chip makers were once again ahead in global market share. Sematech had forged this success by first identifying the companies with the best operating solutions to each problem and then disseminating these practices throughout the industry.
Browning and Shetler's well-written, thoughtful history will inform business historians, managers, and public policy scholars about the development and success of the U.S. computer chip industry and may also suggest the application of Sematech's techniques to other fields of business.
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