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Electronics: High Demand for High-Tech

Despite the economic downturn, consumer electronics have become "must haves" for buyers worldwide, and emerging technologies continue to thrive.

Marty Weil (Oct/Nov 08)
(page 2 of 2)
High-Voltage Areas
As the electronics industry has matured and growth has stabilized, the traditional locations for electronics industry activity has also become more fixed. For instance, San Jose-Silicon Valley, California, the perennial home of the high-tech industry, continues to dominate the electronics manufacturing sector. The area ranks at or near the top in seven of the nine high-tech manufacturing sectors by employment, according to the 2008 Cybercities report issued by the AeA. San Jose-Silicon Valley also ranked first in computers, peripherals, electronic components, semiconductors, and photonics manufacturing.

The usual spots, such as Boston, Massachusetts, continue to set the pace for employment and innovation. Boston, for its part, leads the nation in measuring and control manufacturing in terms of employment. It also is a leader in consumer electronics manufacturing. Other metro areas where the electronics industry has taken root are Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; New York City and upstate New York; and Washington, D.C.

"One of the hottest places recognized around the world is upstate New York," says Feldhan. "The state has done a great job of supporting that development, and IBM has done a good job of creating a coalition of worldwide companies to focus on new technologies. New York has become the premier site for leading-edge, state-of-the-art research and development."

When it comes to semiconductors, Austin, Texas, continues to be a hotbed of activity. Companies such as Motorola, AMD, and Samsung are located in Austin. It is also the home of two national research consortia, MCC and SEMATECH. There are more than 100 semiconductor makers clustered in Austin. And just to the west, in Arizona, the semiconductor industry has also taken root. The Phoenix metro area boasts such top semiconductor players as Intel and Texas Instruments.

Electronics companies, Feldhan observes, seem to cluster around major research universities like those found in Boston, San Jose, and Austin: "The university system will continue to serve as an incubator for electronics industry talent."
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