Wafer Madness

Twenty-four hours a day at Motorola’s MOS 11 factory outside Austin, workers race to build the complex computer chips that power our brave new world. For two weeks, I was one of them.

Speed counts for everything in the roaring semiconductor business, and Motorola’s chip fabrication plant known as MOS 11 operates around the clock. Work only ceases on Christmas Day or during an emergency. Otherwise, in the plant’s ultrasterile “clean room,” where

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