This paper studies the semiconductor industry from three perspectives: historical, entrepreneurial and supply chain management. After a brief introduction, the paper begins by tracing the history and evolution of the semiconductor industry including the two seminal enterprises: Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and Fairchild Semiconductor. Starting from the invention of the transfer resistor (transistor) by three Nobel laureates (John Bardeen, Walter Houser Brattain and William Shockley) and the founding of the "most successful failure" in Silicon Valley, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and the Fairchild Eight, the paper discusses some earliest entrepreneurial attempts in the industry and how these attempts influenced over seventy semiconductor companies in Silicon Valley, including Intel Corporation, National Semiconductor and Advanced Micro Devices. The paper then examines the industry's developing business models, from the vertically integrated model to the integrated device manufacturing model to the development of the foundry model. Finally, the paper looks at the industry's growing trend of globalization together with its outsourcing/off-shoring and supply chain management developments. The authors believe that such a multi-disciplinary approach to study an industry provides valuable insights into the evolution and development of an entire industry and the approach can be generalized to study other industries to enhance understanding at the industry level.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/william_jiang/4/