Location Selection for Fabless Firms

Niharika Jeena, Portland State University
Meles Hagos, Portland State University
Charles Tsai, Portland State University
Yuan Xu, Portland State University
Zack Khalifa, Portland State University

This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University


Site selection for a fabless firm has been a concern in high technology environment and economic development for global semiconductor companies. The process of site selection for firms that are involved in research and development is influenced by many criteria. The model developed highlights the most significant criteria that have an impact on the fabless site selection. Such important criteria are defined to be as: engineering talent, market development, policy, cost, and communication. Moreover, in this study, these criteria are fed into a Hierarchical Decision Model (HDM) along with their associated sub-criteria to select the most attractive site from several potential sites including San Jose, Portland, Hsinchu, Tokyo, Haifa, and Stockholm, for a fabless semiconductor company. A brief background on fabless firms worldwide with all the criteria and sub criteria is discussed. The pairwise comparison method is utilized to have the experts’ opinions from the semiconductor industry on the fabless site selection. Additionally, due to some factual and objective data existed in the literature such as those related to the engineering talent and marketing development, the researchers of this framework extracted information from various sources and normalized accordingly to be incorporated in the HDM model. The findings using pairwise comparison indicated that San Jose, Portland and Hsinchu are the most attractive locations for fabless firms.