AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

January 10, 1976   Description:

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

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - January 22, 1976 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
January 10, 1976

This will be the first in a series of reviews of Don Hoefler's Newsletter.

Don's background was with Fairchild Publications, Electronic News, where he worked for a number of years. Although many of his articles were on the "gossip" side, they were usually interesting.

Don has a personal vendeta [sic] in that many of his friends in the semiconductor business became wealthy. Feeling that he had just as much capability, Don left Electronic News and started up the Newsletter. We estimate that the Newsletter has several hundred subscribers at present.

This review is of the January 10th Newsletter. A copy is enclosed. The numbers on our comments correspond to the numbers we have utilized for the sections of the newsletter to be analyzed.

1. FAIRCHILD
Most of Hoefler's vendeta [sic] against Fairchild is justified. Fairchild has missed a remarkable number of opportunities in the integrated circuit field. To some degree, National's success is related to Fairchild's incompetence. In our opinion, Hoefler has editorialized many of Fairchild's problems out of proportion. The facts are that Fairchild still has problems with their MOS product line. Fairchild is not in as good an economic position as National. Most of their plants use older equipment than NSC which is less productive. Fairchild is ahead of National in Isoplanar and CCD technology. FSC's "advance technology" is difficult to combine with trying to be a low-cost producer for the consumer market.

2. INTERSIL
Intersil's legal actions have required a lot of cash. Most of their moves; i.e., selling the German subsidiary and calculator and watch business, relate to cash needs. These matters should be settled sometime during 1976. Intersil could be the company to watch in 1977.

3. NATIONAL FLIP CHIP
National, as many other companies, has been working with film carrier and other low-cost production techniques for some time. These are only gradually beginning to payoff, and in most instances are only competitive with overseas assembly techniques.

It should be entirely possible to produce and market a watch for under $10, even using the wire bonding techniques again (provided this is done internationally where labor costs run .25$ per hour or less.)

4. INTEL
Our inputs from Intel indicate an excellent 1976 with Intel gaining a strong position in 4K RAMS ahead of Texas Instruments. They also have the most advanced 16K RAM available. Intel is also the winner in the microprocessor race.

5. ELECTRONIC ARRAYS
Electronic Arrays now has a very strong alumnae group from Texas Instruments. Their Singapore assembly plant is also considered one of the best in the Far East.

6. MOTOROLA
Motorola has taken on a litigation against MOS Technology. The results of legal actions of this type are extremely difficult to predict. The only thing that is certain is that if this action is carried through it will take a long time and cost a great deal for both parties in legal fees.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, January 10, 1976


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