December 4, 1976
ITERSIL/ AMS MERGER
ICE tends to agree with most of Ori Hoch's selection for the key positions at
Intersil. The key to the future of the Intersil-AMS Corporation will be
determined after all of the job assignments are made. The two most interesting
things would be the quarterly profitability of the combined corporation and the
selection of new products to be developed by the combined engineering staff.
JOBLESSNESS - IS IC BUSINESS GOING UP OR DOWN?
ICE's analysis of the industry is a mixed bag, with some companies like General
Instruments doubling their facilities and others,like [sic] National and
Fairchild, cutting back. The cause relates to a shift in market mix, but not an
overall weakness. General Instruments' doubling is related to their key
position in the electronic games market. Much of the overall so-called
weaknesses, both in offshore assembly and large companies, is simply the fact
the MOS devices are tending to replace TTL. One survey indicated that the
packaging of over one billion TTL devices will be reduced to a few hundred
This is also confirmed by the components industry with such subtle
indicators as the change in the distribution of values of capacitors. The
capacitor people report their over-all business is excellent--with sale of some
particular values dropping to zero, and other values which previously did not
sell as much, increasing rapidly. These changes, again, are due to shift in the
technology and are not basic business changes. The lesson is overwhelmingly
simple in that we will find a combination of shortages and surpluses at the same
time, but the overall total looks reasonably sound. Most companies, contrary to
the information on layoffs at National and Fairchild, are hiring steadily.
NATIONAL AND CONSUMER PRODUCTS
It's probable that Novus will make some change in their consumer products
marketing situation as a result of current activity. It's not at all apparent
what these changes will be; however, it would appear that National would have
its profitability based on contract manufacturing where it doesn't have to take
the inventory value risk. Generally, there is a little less trouble in selling
the component industry since the name "National" and "Novus" doesn't appear in
FOUR PHASE SYSTEMS
Four Phase Systems is only moving a step further in the direction of vertical
integration, as it has always done everything except actual wafer fab.
Nevertheless it is following the general trend of downward (or backward)
integration which is becoming more common.
NATIONAL'S SC/MP's MICROPROCESSOR
The new microprocessors, because of the experience gained with the earlier
models, appear to be super in their performance and cost effectiveness.
National has finally designed the last of the P-channels; from now on it will be
A COPY OF IBM CENTRAL PROCESSORS
At one point a company called Standard Computers had some momentary success in
making central processing in direct competition with IBM. It certainly would
appear that some business would be available for an effective copy company,
although the problem of IBM changes would continually plague the profitability
of such a venture. Amdahl remains as the large-scale success story. The big
secret in such ventures is to stay out of the software end of the business.
HOEFLER'S REVIEW CASE STUDY 397 ( page: 1 2 )
The impact of integrated circuits is a typical example of the changes wrought by
© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation