Semis, Semis Everywhere … Sometimes Too Much, Sometimes Not Enough
Key Takeaways
  • The present-day semiconductor industry is highly globalized, with dozens of highly specialized players dominating many of the dozens of steps involved in designing and manufacturing the nearly ubiquitous components.
  • We discuss the basics of modern semiconductor manufacturing and how we got from a few engineers designing chips with pen and paper and making integrated circuits by hiring laborers to attach wires by hand --- to the state of the industry today.
  • We offer four suggestions of semiconductor companies whose stocks we think might be good to own. Our ideas include one IDM, one advanced equipment maker, and two fabless design giants.

“One day, semiconductor demand and supply will match up – for all of 30 minutes.”
- attributed to Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel (1987 – 1998)

It’s difficult to think of an aspect of our daily lives that doesn’t involve a semiconductor somewhere. From the device you’re using right now to read this to the refrigerator you’re about to raid for a snack, from the smart television you use to binge-watch your favorite series to the traffic lights helping you get home safely every evening, there is nothing in your life that isn’t made possible by some finely etched bits of silicon.

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