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Internationalisation of Innovation: Why Chip Design Moving to Asia

Dieter Ernst

No 64, Economics Study Area Working Papers from East-West Center, Economics Study Area

Abstract: This paper will appear in International Journal of Innovation Management, special issue in honor of Keith Pavitt, (Peter Augsdoerfer, Jonathan Sapsed, and James Utterback, guest editors), forthcoming. Among Keith Pavitt's many contributions to the study of innovation is the proposition that physical proximity is advantageous for innovative activities that involve highly complex technological knowledge But chip design, a process that creates the greatest value in the electronics industry and that requires highly complex knowledge, is experiencing a massive dispersion to leading Asian electronics exporting countries. To explain why chip design is moving to Asia, the paper draws on interviews with 60 companies and 15 research institutions that are doing leading-edge chip design in Asia. I demonstrate that "pull" and "policy" factors explain what attracts design to particular locations. But to get to the root causes that shift the balance in favor of geographical decentralization, I examine "push" factors, i.e. changes in design methodology ("system-on-chip design") and organization ("vertical specialization" within global design networks). The resultant increase in knowledge mobility explains why chip design - that, in Pavitt's framework is not supposed to move - is moving from the traditional centers to a few new specialized design clusters in Asia. A completely revised and updated version has been published as: " Complexity and Internationalisation of Innovation: Why is Chip Design Moving to Asia?," in International Journal of Innovation Management, special issue in honour of Keith Pavitt, Vol. 9,1: 47-73.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea and nep-tid
Date: 2003-11, Revised 2004-03
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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