Raking In the Chips

U.S. semiconductor makers are out of a slump and into their biggest boom

Semiconductor chips are the soul of modern machines. In little more than a decade these tiny electronic marvels have become vital parts of everything from autos and television sets to missiles and battleships. So when U.S. chipmakers stumbled in recent years and lost ground to the Japanese, fears were raised that a glamorous new industry might be going the same uncompetitive way as American cars and steel. Instead, semiconductor makers embarked on a dazzling boom. Worldwide sales of U.S.-made chips jumped...

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