AC #600 Integrated Circuit Engineering Collection Series 16

December 11, 1976   Description:

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

    ICE Collection - Project File 10085 - review of :

MICROELECTRONICS NEWSLETTER
December 11, 1976

ELECTRONIC ARRAYS
Don Bell's proficiency as a manager of a semiconductor operation has been questioned since his unsuccessful tour of duty at Silicon General. EA has emphasized ROM products with some of the tightest layout tolerances in the industry. The ROM product line makes sense for EA, as opposed to competing in the tough 4K RAM market. The microprocessor is a gamble, and EA needs immediate second-source support from a credible vendor.

There seems little doubt that Electronic Arrays will receive less direct and indirect support from Philips because of their full ownership of Signetics vs the partial ownership and marketing agreement arrangements they have with Electronic Arrays. It seems possible that EA will either disappear or be dissolved into a larger corporation.

NANON ELECTRONICS
ICE has no information on this start-up, but it certainly appears that another memory house is a bit surplus.

LSI SYSTEMS - TNTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY
It's still fairly difficult to raise funds for semiconductor start-up. With competition, such as National, venture capital would be fairly scarce unless the existing watch design had overwhelming attributes. So far, Wanlass' design has fallen victim to the same fate as his past designs.

INTERSIL MARKETING
Ori Hoch needs both a very strong sales vice president and a marketing vice president. The particular area is the precise product planning that is going to be required for profitability in the semiconductor business. It will be particularly important to winnow now down the diverse activities of the old Intersil into something manageable.

LITRONIX
Siemens, in spite of substantial losses in their Phoenix semiconductor operations, continues to develop their semiconductor business worldwide. We understand that Siemens worldwide semiconductor sales now range between $200 million and $300 million.

BILLINGS AND BOOKINGS
The investors seem more sensitive to the bookings than anyone else, and it would be interesting to see how bookings correlate with profitability for specific companies.

NATIONAl SEMICONDUCTOR STOCK
National will have to take drastic action at Novus to regain its image in the market. It's very likely that National will drop back to a module supply of possible custom manufacturing house, eliminate all the marketing and merchandising and pricing problems of the consumer market.

Layoffs at National are continuing, but the rumor-mill is going so strongly it's difficult to separate fact from story.

© 1976 Copyright Integrated Circuit Engineering Corporation


Hoefler's Microelectronics News, December 11, 1976


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