AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

October 9, 1976   Description:

    A series of 1976 reviews of  Don Hoefler's Microelectronics News

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
October 9, 1976

NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR
Local rumors are that Tom Lauer had a similar moonlighting conflict of interest when working in Phoenix. There's considerable talk around National as to who the heir-apparent is for Charlie Sporck. Floyd Kvamme seems to be losing position and several other people are vying for position. It seems likely that Charlie will again try someone to head up his major activities in consumer products, CPU's and semi-conductors.

MOTOROLA
Motorola is rapidly gaining confidence and is seriously looking at expanding its semiconductor production facilities. It appears that expanding the Austin location isn't looked at too favorably. Motorola just cannot lure engineering people to Austin. Further, Motorola has a lot of improvements planned for the sagging 6800 microprocessor line (smaller 6700, hardware multiply/divide, etc.), but just cannot hire the designers to implement the designs. Stories of ill treatment in the recent past coupled with the undesirability of moving to Austin, create an impossible situation. Motorola is seriously considering an eastern location to strengthen its position in the market. Motorola needs to update much of its product line, especially in the automotive and telecommunications.

ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES
AMD seems to be providing the steadiest growth pattern and has made some of the best decisions and profitable product planning of any of the medium-sized semi- conductor companies.

AMERICAN MICROSYSTEMS
It will take a while before the Glen Penisten shakeup at AMI filters all the way through the organization. It's ICE's opinion that AMI should stick to its role as a supplier to major custom programs. Taking on major producers in standard products who are better tooled than AMI for low-cost production does not seem attractive. It's unlikely that Penisten has the super-product selection sense of Jerry Sanders of AMD, and AMI is restricted to MOS as well. Almost all the majors are dropping out of custom, leaving this business to the small houses. Yet, the microprocessor probably in the long run will create more custom business than anything else, by opening up new markets and introducing manufacturers to do-it-yourself design of products.

AMS/INTERSIL MERGER
This appears to be going through after necessary SEC approval. Both companies offer a good bit of unique technology, plus, in some cases, excellent capability of communicating with special customers. With Ori Hoch's financial control, the combination should easily reach $100 million in an expanding market. With the specialized know-how required for memory system, the combination should do rather well.

ELECTRONIC ARRAYS
Electronic Arrays becomes something of a question mark in the business because of the rather large technological undertaking of president, Don Bell. ICE's guess is that Bell will not have sufficient technical resources to implement his program and he will have difficulties as a result. This is a very common problem in the small semiconductor companies, since almost all the managers underestimate the total resources required to become important in the various segments of the integrated circuit market.

GE PATENTS
As the integrated circuit business grows, the patent positions of various companies have become more important. Western Electric recent housecleaning on the Derrick/Frosch oxide patent is an example of litigations which can be expected to continue.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, October 9, 1976


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