Chapter 21: The Extreme-Technology Industry

Integrated-circuits industry R&D expenditure. Source: IC Insights
Integrated-circuits industry R&D expenditure. Source: IC Insights

The persistent annual R&D quota of >15% of revenue in the semiconductor industry has been and continues to be more than twice as high as the OECD definition for High-Technology Industry. At the frontiers of miniaturization, the Cost-of-Ownership (COO) continues to rise upwards to beyond 10 billion $ for a Gigafactory. Only leaders in the world market for selected processors and memories or for foundry services can afford this. Others can succeed with high-value custom products equipped with high-performance application-specific standard products acquired from the leaders in their specific fields or as fables original-device manufacturers buying wafers from top foundries and packaging/ testing from contract manufacturers, thus eliminating the fixed cost for a factory.
An overview is offered on the leaders in these different business models. In view of the coming highly diversified and heterogeneous world of nanoelectronic-systems competence, the point is made for global networks of manufacturing and services with the highest standards for product quality and liability.


Bernd Hoefflinger