Monday, December 19, 2011

Samsung Supplies Apple with Chips from its New Austin TX Fab

As noted in earlier posts, (for example, this one) the most valuable components of Apple's iPhones and tablet devices are being supplied by South Korean companies, led by Samsung and LG.  There is currently another wave of publicity circulating in media and on the internet about Samsung's role in supplying the key chips for Apple's tablet devices.  This role as a supplier is pretty hard to hide since the newest chips are being manufactured in a large--think nine football fields--new Samsung fab in Austin Texas.    Forbes has an interesting short account of these developments.  Among other things, it notes that despite the impressive size of the fab and the number of chips it will turn out, the Samsung facility will employ only about 1,100 people.
The article notes, in response to the frequent argument in the U.S. that "we must revive manufacturing," that manufacturing seems to come in two kinds at the moment. Lots of jobs but very low wages assembly work, the stuff that is done in China. Or very few jobs indeed high tech stuff. Which is nice, sure, but it just doesn’t employ tens of millions of people, not even tens of thousands.

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