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Dana Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist for over 25 years and has covered the online world professionally since 1985. He founded the "Interactive Age Daily" for CMP Media, and has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age, and dozens of other publications over the years.
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Moore’s Law defines the history of technology. It held that the number of circuits etched on a given piece of silicon could double every 18 months as far as its author, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, could see. Moore’s Law has spawned constant revolutions since then, not just in computing but in communications, in science, in a host of areas. Moore’s Law applies to radios, and to optical fiber, but there are some areas where it doesn’t apply. In this blog we’ll take a daily look at new implications of Moore’s Law in real time, as it rolls forward to create our future.
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Moore's Lore

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September 16, 2005

Welcome to the Third World

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Posted by Dana Blankenhorn

Intel_Logo.gifI know people are going to read this as good news.

Intel announced it is putting $340 million into expanding plants in Colorado and Massachusetts.

What could be wrong with that?

Well, consider this:

  1. These are old factories that use 8-inch wafers, not the 12-inch wafers used to make microprocessors.
  2. The chips being added to the lines are 200 nm devices that link processors to memory. Processor lines are now written at less than 100 nm.
  3. The Colorado investment will only involve increased testing of chips, not production.
  4. The total new employment from both these investments is under 1,000.

This is a drop in the bucket next to total Intel investment. The vast majority of Intel's new investment is going overseas, especially to China. Some of it is being made there because the Chinese government has been playing hardball, demanding more investment as the price of market access.

China is now a member of the World Trade Organization, and its hardball tactics are fine by the WTO.

Why aren't we playing hardball? Why are we still playing software, and letting U.S. companies relegate us to Third World status?

Think about that this weekend.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Digital Divide | Investment | Moore's Lore | Semiconductors


1. Jesse Kopelman on September 19, 2005 05:09 PM writes...

Actually, I would think the ammount of labor performed per capita is indirectly proportionaly to how "first world" one's nation is. The ultimate first world nation would be one that is pure consumer with no production whatsoever. Producing things is the lowest rung on the economic food chain, so why worry about it? I don't want to be an economic vegan.

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