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­.s. Chip Manufacturing in the Age of the Ipad

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Andy Grove

Andy Grove's Stanford class examined the state of manufacturing in the U.S.


Behind the fly-off-the-shelf popularity of products like Apple's iPad and iPhone are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs—mostly overseas. Is it possible to create more of those jobs here in the U.S. to combat chronically high levels of unemployment?

Personal computing is moving rapidly beyond the laptop. And there's no better example than Apple, whose most popular products are now the iPhone and the iPad. The surging demand for anything Apple is causing a seismic shift in chip manufacturing to Asia, the hotbed of new silicon ecosystems. Though companies like Hewlett-Packard and Dell also play a role, they are still primarily Intel-centric PC makers, while Apple is morphing into a maker of smartphones and tablets, which is creating the alternative non-Intel silicon manufacturing ecosystems overseas. Thus the focus on Apple.

So, is there anything a U.S. gadget supplier like Apple can—or should—do to help maintain a chip manufacturing base in the U.S.? Seeking an answer to that question I recently sat in on a Stanford University class taught by Andy Grove, the former Intel chief executive, and talked to Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.

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