Now, Those Big Chip Budgets Are Too Much Even For Japan

To win the largest chunk of the world semiconductor market, the Japanese relied chiefly on cash. Whenever the industry entered one of its periodic downturns in the 1980s, the Japanese outspent U.S. rivals--and were ready for the recovery. No more, perhaps. Japan now has so much excess chip capacity that its producers are slashing capital budgets, according to a study by Dataquest Inc.

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