AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

July 17, 1976   Description:

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

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
July 17, 1976

MARSHALL COX
Marshalll's principal problem at Intersil is that he depended too much on his friends - some were competent and some were not. He never could force himself to separate from "old cronies" and this turned out to be one of the major difficulties that Intersil had. Marshall would probably do fairly well at Western Digital, however, since they do have the advantage of a fairly good facility and, in spite of losses, a reasonably well trained factory work force. Western Digital also has the availability of some good technical people who have learned integrated circuits from Coilins/Rockwell. Several people, including ICE, have tried the import/export service but really find the difficulties enormous. The right product, the right place, the problems with international currency transfer, and quality control problems simply have made this area a very difficult one.

TIMEX LED
Probably Timex will be making a number of major moves in the watch market, including their own facility.

INTERSIL/ADVANCED MEMORY SYSTEMS MERGER
Although there is always the possibility of something negative happening, this should be one of the better mergers for the semiconductor industry, with a solid potential this year of about $77 million and a very good potential next year of $100 million, with an earnings percentage only next to Intel's; i.e., 15% to 20% after taxes.

NATIONAL - JOHN HUGHES
Our contacts indicate that National should achieve a $500 million sales during this fiscal year. By reducing losses in the consumer products area, National should do reasonably well with respect to earnings per share, most people in the San Francso Bay [sic] area consider Intel first and National second with respect to positions in integrated circuit production technology.

FAIRCHILD
Fairchild, apparently, made some money in CMOS, but still has overall losses in MOS. Fairchild still has a long way to go to regain its stature.

INTEL MICROMA
Apparently the market for liquid crystal display watches has boomed, causing Microma to be in short supply. They apparently didn't have the nerve to carry out their convictions and had cut back vendors some months ago and now more recently have been turning production back on.

SOLA BASIC
More and more the equipment suppliers are becoming larger and larger, to the point that turnkey facilities are now becoming feasible. This could be very important with respect to the export of technology and also the ability to locate a plant away from the U.S.

AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS ENGINE CONTROL
National's work was probably for Ford, but it is just another sign of the automotive industry's growing interest in engine control.

AMI
AMI's capabilities in custom MOS and their current reorganization appears to be strengthening the company, and although it will take several months for this to reach the P&L level, I suspect that AMI will make a fairly strong comeback and be pretty well up there. AMI is missing the boat somewhat in the microcontroller business, which would dovetail nicely with its custom business.

AMD VS AMS
While both AMD and AMS appear to be strong companies, I think that AMS probably will outstrip AMD in dollar volume. Ori Hoch, because of his systems background, will probably do a better job in the add-on memory field which still has a fairly significant number of dollars. AMD has superior strengths in MOS and bipolar microprocessors.

FAIRCHILD ADD-ON MEMORY
Fairchild add-on memory looks like an also-ran, although Jim Bowen has a number of interesting programs over in the systems group. ICE has not been too impressed with the planning capabilities of this group and we feel many of their products are accidental rather than intentional.

ICE FAILURE ANALYSIS SEMINAR
ICE has gotten what we feel is remarkably good response to its Failure Analysis program. Programs which would not have sold at all several years ago are now very attractive to both the producer and user of integrated circuits.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, July 17, 1976


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