Valley of Thefts

Stolen chips are a hot industry

Officials at Monolithic Memories, Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., manufacturer of advanced integrated computer circuits, left for the long Thanksgiving weekend confident about the security of their plant.

Some $2.7 million worth of chips, the flake-size bits of silicon that are the brains of computers, was locked inside wire mesh cages that were surrounded by motion detectors, monitored by closed circuit television and watched by guards. The 498,000 chips were soon to be shipped to companies like Data General, Apple and Hughes Aircraft and would eventually find their way...

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