Feeling the Crunch From Foreign Chips

Semiconductor makers fight Japanese imports

Texas Instruments seemed as determined last week as the troops that defended the Alamo. The beleaguered electronics giant took out a two-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal that was intended to have the impact of a barrage of cannonballs. "Suddenly an era of explosive invention begins," proclaimed the company, as it touted an array of new technologies. This time the heroic struggle is over the manufacture of semiconductors, the tiny silicon chips that form the brains of virtually every advanced product from microwave ovens to mainframe computers. The attacker is Japan, whose aggressive electronics industry is on the verge of...

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