Knowledge patterns and sources of leadership: mapping the semiconductor miniaturization trajectory
This article examines the technological capabilities that national organizations generated and accumulated along the long-term evolution of the miniaturization trajectory, the most important direction of change in the semiconductor industry. By building an original dataset of patents and using three algorithms for the analysis of citation networks, we first map the pattern of technological knowledge underlying the advancement of the miniaturization trajectory. We identify three different dimensions of the knowledge pattern and characterize them in terms of distinctive knowledge properties. Second, we analyze the geographical and organizational distribution of the knowledge pattern. The results provide evidence for significant differences in the technological capabilities of national organizations, as revealed by the magnitude and the properties of the technological knowledge that these organizations generated over time. We find, among the other things, that while US organizations remained strong over the whole time period considered, the technological capabilities of European organizations were considerably eroded in the most recent years by the emergence of SEA countries.
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