The report was written by Takashi Yunogami from the Institute for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness (ITEC) at Doshisha University. Yunogami found that the current predicament facing the Japanese semiconductor industry is rooted in the history of computer chips and the failure of Japanese industry to meet with changing demands.
When Japanese semiconductor manufacturers started making computer chips in the 1970s, the chips were produced for use in large mainframe systems and were required to be of the highest possible quality. Around this need for quality developed a culture of extreme technological perfection. This resulted in Japan becoming the world leader in the DRAM market in the 1980s. A fundamental shift in the market occurred through the 1990s as demand changed from mainframe computers to personal computers.
The mistake made in Japan was the inability to alter the culture of extreme technological excess and chips continued to be made at quality levels far greater than that required by the PC dominated marketplace. Japanese manufacturers have been unable to reduce manufacturing costs resulting in chips that are too expensive to compete with foreign competition on the world market.
The AZojomo* article is available to view at http://www.azom.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=3420
*AZojomo publishes high quality articles and papers on all aspects of materials science and related technologies. All the contributions are reviewed by a world class panel of editors who are experts in a wide spectrum of materials science. [See http://www.azom.com/Journal%20Editorial%20Board.asp]AZojomo is based on the patented OARS (Open Access Rewards System) publishing protocol. The OARS protocol represents a unique development in the field of scientific publishing – the distribution of online scientific journal revenue between the authors, peer reviewers and site operators with no publication charges, just totally free to access high quality, peer reviewed materials science. [See http://www.azom.com/azojomo.asp and http://www.azom.com/oars.asp]
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