Pressures for Change in the Global Distribution of the Microprocessor Industry
Technology Analysis & Strategic Management
Volume 4, 1992 – Issue 1
At present, the world’s microprocessor market is completely dominated by the US semiconductor industry. In particular, two companies (Intel and Motorola) have overwhelmingly controlled the development of the market through their dominant 80 × 86 and 68000 Cisc (complex instruction set computer) architectures. This paper shows that this Cisc-based arrangement is now under pressure. The emergence of the new Risc (reduced instruction set computer) microprocessor architecture i n the mid-1980s is bringing a new era of instability to the sector. On the surface, this instability would seem to be very much an internal US affair. The author argues, however, that new opportunities are emerging for other countries or regions to play a greater part in the development of the microprocessor industry. This paper discusses the combination of factors at the heart of this process and a glance is given at the future beyond Risc.