AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

December 4, 1976   Description:

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

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
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 thousand LSIs. 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 the marketplace.

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 all N-channel.

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 these technologies.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, December 4, 1976
Case No. 375


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