September 18, 1976
SHAKEUPS AT FAIRCHILD
ICE's recent visit to Fairchild suggested that there is a continuing amount of
unrest, although Corrigan's confidence is gradually improving, particularly with
respect to their MOS capabilities. They still have a ways to go to develop an
operation as effective as some of their competitors in the Bay Area,
particularly National. ICE finds it interesting to note that older remote
plants, such as the Portland facility, aren't as effective as new ones in the
middle of Silicon Valley or in the Salt Lake area. Our experience suggests that
older plants are capable of competing in Silicon Valley because of the better
people. While a new facility in a remote location may compete effectively for a
time because of the modern equipment, Silicon Valley talent is better at keeping
yields up in an aging facility.
AMI -GLENN PENISTEN
Penisten is obviously taking a very strong position at AMI, although generally
he may be overworking the fancy planning procedures of TI. The better help
seems to like the idea of finally getting some direction from the top.
Financially, it will probably take Penisten a year or two to throttle down to
the right kind of management for AMI, but in the long run he might be able to
but the available engineering talent and AMI's excellent customer relations
together into a more moneymaking organization. Overall, Silicon Valley business
tends to be good with full parking lots, but there continues to be nervousness
about the longer term period. Probably, if we can avoid an overexpansion in
this upswing, we can avoid much of the recession that might result and get some
damping on the semiconductor business pendulum. Short-term greed is the
industry's big enemy.
TWO TOP NAMES
Confidentially, the two people considering the distributor partnership are
Marshall Cox and Bernie Marren. If it does go, it will indeed be one of the
highest-powered distributors in the business, with lots of marketing talent
available from AMI and Intersil.
EA is in for some continuing hard times as they attempt to build up a market for
the EA 9002 microprocessor and other new products to replace the lost calculator
custom business. The process problems at this critical time don't help either.
Microma was ahead of its time with the LCD display, but is indeed in a stronger
position now. If Intel is intent on selling Microma, it indicates a powerful
repulsion towards being involved in consumer marketing and production. It's not
as if Intel needed the cash.
© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation