The Chips Are Flying Again

Manufacturers race to fill orders in a $14.6 billion market

After two years of sputtering sales, U.S. manufacturers of semiconductor chips, which form the core of computers and all other electronic products, are coming on strong once again. Chip orders reached $830 million in July, up 70% from a year ago. The phenomenal demand for personal computers has powered much of the semiconductor surge, but big orders are also coming from the manufacturers that use chips in telecommunications products, photocopiers, autos and military equipment like missile-control panels. Says Gary Arnold, National Semiconductor's chief...

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