Japan falls behind in chip manufacturing

May 16, 2006

A university study suggests Japan is falling behind other nations in the production of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) chips for personal computers.

The report was written by Takashi Yunogami of the Institute for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness at Doshisha University -- a private university located in Kyoto.

Yunogami found Japan's semiconductor industry is now trailing such nations as South Korea, Taiwan and the United States because it has failed to meet changing demands.

When Japanese semiconductor manufacturers started making computer chips during the 1970s, the chips were produced for use in large mainframe systems and had to be of the highest possible quality, resulting in Japan becoming the world leader in the DRAM market during the 1980s.

However, as demand changed from mainframe computers to personal computers, Japanese manufacturers failed to adjust the quality of the chips, thereby failing to reduce their manufacturing costs, Yunogami said. That has resulted in Japan producing chips that are too expensive to compete on the world market.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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