Sunday, May 04, 2008

Implementing the 'Toyota Way' in Semiconductors

A fascinating look at how the principles of the Toyota Production System are changing the way chips are being made and how it could also change what type of chips are being made with a number of lessons other businesses can learn from (IEEE):

Throughout the past 40 years, the only way to move the scale curve has been through the pursuit of Moore's Law, along with the enormous capital investment that this entails. Unfortunately, such spending pushes the curve not only down but also to the right [see graph, “New Opportunities for Profitable Growth” The result has been an increase in the minimum volume at which production is cost-effective. What all this means is that TPS will lower both the minimum cost and the volume of efficient production. When that happens, a lot of the great engineering ideas that have been shot down by the bean counters over the years will suddenly become attractive from a business perspective.

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