chapter  17
16 Pages

Antidumping actions in high technology industries

The case of semiconductors
WithHarald Gruber

The semiconductor industry is the supplier of key technologies and products in modern society. The invention of the semiconductor device known as the transistor in 1947 at the Bell Laboratories in the USA ushered in what many have called the second industrial revolution. Since the first large-scale industrial applications of semiconductors, these products have fundamentally changed the world. As a result of the striving for miniaturization, cost reduction and increasing performance, semiconductors have found direct application in almost everything produced and have spurred the development of other important industries, such as computers, telecommunications and consumer electronics. It is therefore not surprising that semiconductors are sometimes referred to as the key raw material for our information society or as the oil of the next century. There is, of course, also a political-strategic dimension, as it has become clear that military supremacy is crucially dependent on access to key semiconductor technology. The impressions of the high-tech features of the recent Gulf War are still alive in our memories to remind us of how effectively technological supremacy can be used.