Re: Why isn't semiconductor memory made in USA anymore?

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Why isn't semiconductor memory made in USA anymore?
Date: 31 Aug 1999 03:00:25 -0000 writes:
> On Mon, 30 Aug 1999 15:34:19 -0400, Edward Flaherty <> wrote:
> >
> >Everyone is a consumer, which means there are about 270 million of them.
> >Not everyone is a worker in an import-competing industry relying on
> >trade barriers to sustain them.  It is more accurate to state that lifting
> >barriers benefits millions of consumers at the expense of thousands
> >of workers.
> >
>    The ultimate goal, in view of the fact that virtually everything can be
>    manufactured  in populous countries (Japan, Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico,
>    India, then Africa) is to cease virtually all manufacturing in the U.S.
>    There is no obvious reason why this cannot be done.  There is no reason.

The SC industry is a little different, because of the inherent
barriers to entry-a modern SC manufacturing facility costs more than
the most expensive adult theme park/hotel in Las Vegas, (although it
is usually a closely guarded proprietary secret, many billions of
bucks are common.) Bottom line, it usually requires a government
subsidy of some sort-usually justified for infrastructural reasons,
since the ROI is very long, do to the glut in the industry since the
late 80's.

These facilities require a lot of support and collateral
infrastructure, too, for example, exotic chemicals, (device quality
silane is just not something one can pick up at the local drug store
in quantity.) It usually requires five years to a decade for a country
to develop the collateral infrastructure.


BTW, very few manufacturing facilities have been built in Silicon
Valley in the last decade do to strict environmental controls on the
chemicals and processes used. So much so, that SV contributes very
little to the world semiconductor supply today. The US capacity has
been picked up by Austin Tex., etc., which had governments that
actively courted the SC industry a decade, or so, ago.


John Conover,,

Copyright © 1999 John Conover, All Rights Reserved.
Last modified: Sun Nov 14 00:01:59 PST 1999 $Id: 990830200036.27424.html,v 1.0 2001/11/17 23:05:50 conover Exp $
Valid HTML 4.0!