March 20, 1976
1. LES HOGAN
Hogan has a much better than average skill in picking people to run
semiconductor businesses. Hogan's Motorola and Fairchild alumnae (the staff
which he gathered at Motorola and Fairchild) is scattered throughout the
semiconductor fields with many holding responsible positions in the industry. A
number of financial people respect Hogan's judgment, and it seems likely that
Hogan could attract the funds and the people necessary to put a small company
such as Altus back together again.
LSI Systems, a year ago, was making over one-half million dollars a month
in profit in the manufacture of CMOS chips for electronic watches. The watch
industry itself has been scared to death by the TI announcement, but after
present inventories are exhausted, there should be a good demand.
2. ELECTRONIC ARRAYS
Don Bell did not gain a favorable reputation at his previous job with Silicon
General. Because of a growing number of job opportunities in the Bay area, it
seems unlikely that he'll be able to hold a good staff at Electronic Arrays. EA
could turn out to be the "half-way" house for the migration from Texas.
ICE's information is that Marshall Cox's staff revolted and went to Fred Adler
to ask that Marshall be removed. Marshall had too many people reporting to him
and Intersil does have some excellent potential under good management. It's
possible that someone at Les Hogan's or Tom Longo's level could make quite a
difference in Intersil's future.
Supertex is only one example of potential MOS start-ups. ICE is working with
two other MOS start-ups for funding, and has one MOS company for sale. Metal-
gate CMOS technology is OK for watch chips, but future growth for a CMOS company
must lie in improved processing silicon gate, SOS or whatever. RCA has made a
big splash with its C2L, which improves density considerably.
5. MIL SALE
Don's coverage of the MIL odds-and-ends sale has no relationship to the state of
the industry. Other capital equipment sales recently were well-attended,
drawing prices considerably above value.
6. NOYCE - "THE COOPERATION GAP"
Noyce's warning in 1969 of lack of cooperation between the consumer electronic
and the semiconductor companies has been answered in two ways. First, upward
integration by the semiconductor manufacturer has eliminated the other party in
some cases. Downward integration by the consumer electronic company has also
eliminated the second party, but of more importance is the establishment of in-
house prototyping capability. This has allowed the user to understand the
product and to work effectively with semiconductor companies.
© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation