July 17, 1976
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
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.
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%
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, 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.
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.
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'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