Vic & NSW govts scramble to attract Intel chip-plant
Mon, 06 Apr 98 13:00:11 +1000
>Every country in the world is trying to emulate Silicon Valley, and so the
>world is going to be flooded with chip manufacturing plants, all heavily
>subsidised, very soon (if it isn't already).
I'd suggest the world is near-flood already. At least, when the Asian economic
crisis broke, there were enough economic commentators suggesting that the
strategy of "build lots and lots more of it cheaper" is self-limiting.
>What we must do is concentrate more on domestic fundamentals, and not look >so
longingly at the international jet-set of technologies.
Indeed. It depresses me that people of intelligence are so keen to have a
dedicated Intel-only chip plant here. We won't engineer the chips here - that
will happen within Intel. We won't build the PCs here - that will happen in
whatever market is seen as cheap and stable.
I do believe that we need to "seed" our local silicon engineering; but having an
Intel plant won't do that. Nor, it seems, does having a local subcontract plant
make much difference - otherwise the Homebush plant would have saved AWA.
Looking to Intel to solve our problems is just a bigger version of the cargo
cult: looking to the skies waiting not for beads but for e-beam epitaxy
machines. God not as a missionary, but as Andy Grove.
We don't have to retreat entirely into niche-ism; but if we want to play in mass
markets, we need to look for ones that are emerging, rather than diverting my
money to grab a share of a seam that's already mined out.