Chips: Going From Thrills To Chills

Suddenly, the chip biz is plunging. How bad will it get?

Microchip makers can't fool themselves any longer. Their notoriously cyclical $144 billion industry has plunged into the sort of worldwide slowdown that was supposed to be obsolete. In recent weeks, the bad news has been pouring in from chipmakers around the globe: Lower profits. Production cutbacks. Layoffs. In the end, 1996 could be the industry's worst year this decade.

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