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DOD is asked to aid semiconductor firms.

DOD (1) (Dial On Demand) A feature that allows a device to automatically dial a telephone number. For example, an ISDN router with dial on demand will automatically dial up the ISP when it senses IP traffic destined for the Internet.  is asked to aid semiconductor firms

Historically, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  has beenthe world technological leader in advanced semiconductors. In recent years, however, U.S. semiconductor manufacturers have been losing that lead. Their slowed growth and loss of sales, principally to the Japanese Japanese (jăp'ənēz`), language of uncertain origin that is spoken by more than 125 million people, most of whom live in Japan. There are also many speakers of Japanese in the Ryukyu Islands, Korea, Taiwan, parts of the United States, and , have hurt not only their financial health, but also the vitality vi·tal·i·ty
1. The capacity to live, grow, or develop.

2. Physical or intellectual vigor; energy.
 of their research enterprise--a trend that poses a large and growing threat to national security, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a new Department of Defense (DOD) study.

Says Charles Charles, archduke of Austria
Charles, 1771–1847, archduke of Austria; brother of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. Despite his epilepsy, he was the ablest Austrian commander in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars; however, he was handicapped by
 A. Fowler, chairman of theDefense Science Board, which prepared the report, the waning U.S. leadership in semiconductor technology is so serious "that at some time in the future [it] may be looked upon in retrospect as a turning point in the history of our nation.'

To help U.S. semiconductor manufacturersregain leadership in chip manufacturing and maintain leadership in chip design, the Defense Science Board recommends that DOD pump hundreds of millions of dollars more into semiconductor research, development and especially manufacturing.

The United States' ability to field technologicallysuperior weapons has become increasingly "dependent upon superior electronics,' says the report. DOD has relied upon this technological superiority in its weapons to counter the numerical numerical

expressed in numbers, i.e. Arabic numerals of 0 to 9 inclusive.

numerical nomenclature
a numerical code is used to indicate the words, or other alphabetical signals, intended.
 advantage--in weapons and troops-- of its adversaries. At this point, however, the most advanced defense systems-- those about to be deployed--may contain "up to several tens of percent' of computer chips that were made, packaged or tested in foreign countries, the Defense Science Board finds.

As a result, the report concludes that"if steps are not now taken to assure the availability of domestic sources or stockpiles, or both, the United States could be denied timely access to these militarily critical devices in wartime or [be] forced to rely upon technologically and operationally inferior INFERIOR. One who in relation to another has less power and is below him; one who is bound to obey another. He who makes the law is the superior; he who is bound to obey it, the inferior. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 8.  alternatives.' Moreover, the report notes, when the source of superior chips is overseas, the United States has little ultimate control in preventing their acquisition by the Soviets. That acquisition could directly threaten U.S. technological superiority in weaponry.

The board recommends that DODestablish a cooperative industry-DOD Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Institute (Semitech). It would not only develop, demonstrate and advance the technology needed for efficient, high-production output of state-of-the-art devices, but also provide facilities to actually produce selected devices that DOD most needs. The board estimates that Semitech could be launched with about $250 million from the industry and with DOD support of about $200 million per year for five years.

The board also suggests that DODspend $50 million annually to set up eight centers of excellence in semiconductor science and engineering at universities; increase its other investments in semiconductors by $300 million a year, within four years; and set up a government-industry-university forum to assess how each sector might cooperate in meeting DOD's developing needs.

Both the Cupertino, Calif.-based SemiconductorIndustries Association and the Semiconductor Research Corp., a 35-company research consortium headquartered in Research Triangle Park Research Triangle Park, research, business, medical, and educational complex situated in central North Carolina. It has an area of 6,900 acres (2,795 hectares) and is 8 × 2 mi (13 × 3 km) in size. Named for the triangle formed by Duke Univ. , N.C., have come out in favor of upon the side of; favorable to; for the advantage of.

See also: favor
 the report's general findings and recommendations. DOD's only reaction has been to say it "is currently reviewing the [report's] conclusions and its recommendations and investigating technical as well as funding alternatives.'
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Title Annotation:Department of Defense
Author:Raloff, Janet
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 21, 1987
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