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Evolution of technology dependence among leading semiconductor companies

Chun‐chieh Wang (Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
Mu‐hsuan Huang (Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
Dar‐zen Chen (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics and evolution of the technology‐dependence networks of leading semiconductor companies. By comparing and contrasting technology‐dependence networks in the 6‐, 8‐ and 12‐inch chip eras, this study clarifies the differences among integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and foundries, and among each company in different eras.


Leading companies were identified by technological crowdedness and technological prestige to avoid massive actors. Strong ties were extracted to avoid too many relationship ties at the company network level. Strong ties represented directional technology relationships among companies whose citation counts and relative citation rates were higher. The technology‐dependence network of leading companies in three chip eras was examined by social network analysis.


Technology dependence among IDMs was the weakest, and their technology dependence upon foundries decreased in the 12‐inch chip era. The highest technology interdependence appeared among foundries and the reduction of their dependence upon IDMs. Technology dependence is expanded primarily by foundries, significant among GlobalFoundries, TSMC, UMC, and VIS.

Practical implications

IDM could invite foundries with technology dependence to form a strategic consortium. That way, the foundries could monitor potential competitors with relationship of technology dependence; in an advanced sense, the foundries could make use of the network to practice commercial maneuvers and create competitive advantage. Scholars may also observe semiconductor manufacturing technology's evolving into the maturity stage of product life cycle by interpreting foundries' highly technology interdependent relationships.


This is the first study to use strong ties in patent citation networks to represent technology‐dependence relationships.



Wang, C., Huang, M. and Chen, D. (2011), "Evolution of technology dependence among leading semiconductor companies", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 7, pp. 1136-1152.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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