AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

March 27, 1976   Description:

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

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - April 2, 1976 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
March 27, 1976

1. LES HOGAN
It's quite likely that Hogan feels he's too young to retire and would like to have one last final fling in the industry. LSI Systems was a real moneymaker in the heyday of the watch markets, as they had super yields; i.e., better than 100 chips per wafer on 2-inch wafers and were selling the chips at about $3 each. Part of the "secret" was a very small chip created by Frank Wanlass. A patent was applied for on the innovation. Wafers, even in the obsolete facility they were in, would cost only about $30 each for a 2-inch water; thus, they were making chips for factory cost of some $.3 and selling them for over $3.00. Recently the watch market has bombed because of the TI announcement, and it's likely that watch chips have or will shortly reach $.50 apiece.

2. MOTOROLA-SIEMENS
Siemens has had an ongoing program for some time for the purchase of a U.S. semiconductor company. They purchased Dickson Electronics in Scottsdale, Arizona and also have established a worldwide corporate research center in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The director of research is ex-Honeywell, German, and skilled in magnetics.

3. DATAQUEST-RILEY
Riley has a good eye for semiconductor predictions and a number of friends throughout the industry who contribute to his database, including ICE. With the fact that Riley now gets the semiconductor production equipment numbers through the Semicon agreement, he should be in an even better position to judge capacity and further enhance Dataquest's position in the semiconductors numbers game business. Next is a continuous tally on wafer consumption, a fair indicator but one requiring inventory corrections. Short shelf-life chemicals would be good indicators, but no one has tackled it yet.

4. PRECISION MONOLITHICS TELECOMMUNICATIONS
ICE feels that telecommunications are the hot market for semiconductors for the next five to ten year period.

5. TIMEX
Timex has been studying acquisitions for some time and it's pretty apparent they feel they'll have to acquire somebody to retain their position as a major supplier of low cost watches.

6. INTERSIL
It appeared that Cox lost the confidence of his staff and this is the basic reason for his removal. Among the people interviewing for the job are Bob Jones, ex-Motorola/Phoenix QC operations type whose most recent responsibility is to head the Guadalajara, Mexico operation. Rumors, of course, persist regarding Tom Longo and Les Hogan. Intersil is advertising for engineering help these days.

7. GENERAL EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS
We understand that Fairchild has begun hiring in the middle management to low management range, and also that National and Motorola are both adding to staff. Don's calibration seems outdated -- $17-18K has to be light-middleweight.

8. ELECTRONIC ARRAYS
It's unlikely that Electronic Arrays has the resources for the game plan contemplated by Don Bell; i.e., become a technological leader of the industry rather than the "let's copy cheap" tradition of many companies the size of Electronic Arrays. Obviously some changes will have to be made.

9. INTERSIL RELIABIlITY 4K RAM
Based upon reports from IBM, Motorola, and others, it appears that there are three or four more new failure modes in the 4K RAM that not everyone has learned.

10. RAYTHEON
In spite of continuing lack of profitability, it appears that Raytheon plans to hang in there. It seems unlikely that under present management that they would get anywhere, although the second source agreement with AMD on the 2901 microprocessor slice was a move in the right direction.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, March 27, 1976


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