IEEE Cases 1999 - Making Good Wafers Look Bad


A fictionalized case about an engineer fired for refusing to fudge quality data in order to save money.


Don Fisher, an electrical engineer, worked for Dicers, a company that purchased wafers for microprocessor chips from another company and then diced, packaged, and sold them. Don was assigned the task of testing these wafers. After a while, he was instructed by his manager to alter the testing process in such a manner that the quality of the purchased wafers was made to seem lower than it really was, which had the effect of the lowering the price paid. Don objected to this practice and refused to go along. Eventually, he was discharged.


Author: Stephen H. Unger, Columbia University.

Presented at the OEC International Conference on Ethics in Engineering and Computer Science, March 1999.

Stephen H. Unger. . IEEE Cases 1999 - Making Good Wafers Look Bad. Online Ethics Center. DOI: