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Japan's chip equipment makers set up shop near Intel, TSMC and Samsung

Hitachi High-Tech, Kokusai Electric see value in proximity to top customers

Hitachi High-Tech's new R&D center in Oregon is a 10-minute drive from an Intel chip plant. (Photo courtesy of the Hitachi group)

TOKYO -- As the growing complexity of semiconductor manufacturing spurs equipment suppliers to work ever more closely with chipmakers, some are spending big on moving physically closer to their customers for a competitive edge.

Hitachi High-Tech's new research and development center in Oregon is a prime example. The center, which opened last fall, consolidated the Japanese company's three existing facilities in the U.S. West Coast state into a single, bigger site just a 10-minute drive from an Intel plant for advanced semiconductors.

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