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Planning Report 07-2: Economic Impact of Measurement in the Semiconductor Industry



Gregory C. Tassey


The semiconductor industry has long been a driving force behind major advances in computing and electronics. Advances in the speed of processing power have enabled individuals and companies to create, access, and analyze data rapidly, improving individual and business efficiency and developing new markets within the national and global economies. Between 1996 and 2006, semiconductor manufacturers and semiconductor technology research groups, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and industry consortia, made significant investments in the technology infrastructure that supports the industry. The novel measurement equipment, software, and systems they created accelerated the development of less expensive, higher quality semiconductors that enable the production of products as varied as lighting systems and computers. Without these investments, the industry would have otherwise been less efficient, incurring higher defect rates and greater costs, all of which would have been passed along to consumers through higher prices, lower product quality, and slower processing speed. The goal of this study was to quantify the investment made by the semiconductor industry, government, and consortia in the measurement infrastructure between 1996 and 2006 and to compare that estimate with the economic benefits firms accrued as a consequence. This study also analyzed the trends catalyzing a broad-based, public–private strategy for improving the industry’s measurement capabilities and thereby the industry’s competitiveness in the global market.
OTHER - 07-2
Report Number


economic, impact, semiconductor, industry, measurement


Tassey, G. (2007), Planning Report 07-2: Economic Impact of Measurement in the Semiconductor Industry, Other, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created December 31, 2007, Updated February 19, 2017