Archives:A Review of UK Government Involvement in the Field of Semiconductor Technology Within the Research Establishments
This paper deals with the influence of the UK Ministry of Defence research departments upon the development of the semiconductor industry in Britain. A survey of the organization of the relevant research departments of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the implementation of its procurement policies reveals that although fundamental work of an advanced nature was carried out successfully by these departments, lack of funding and constant organizational restructuring severely limited effectiveness. These problems appear to stem largely from lack of a national strategy involving both the establishments and industry, and the resulting short-term nature of government policy. Evidence for this view is supported by statements made by senior personnel both from within both the research stablishments and industry. Because MOD policy was principally concerned with device Morris acquisition rather than assisting the indigenous industry, research effort within the establishments was diverted from mainstream technology to concentrating on work of a noncommercial nature. Resulting government procurement contracts encouraged indigenous semiconductor manufacturers to produce short production runs of highpriced components for specialized military applications, rather than entering more competitive commercial markets.
Citation and Link to Full Article
P.R. Morris, “A Review of UK Government Involvement in the Field of Semiconductor Technology Within the Research Establishments,” in Facets: New Perspectivies on the History of Semiconductors, ed. Andrew Goldstein & William Aspray (New Brunswick: IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, 1997), 271-303.