23-01-07

Disaster for European High-Tech

I don't feel good about the electronic industry in Europe at the moment, there are to few companies left that are pure European. It is time to work for the future, to invest in jobs... not like we are doing at this time we have to start up our economic rocket engine...

 

If we keep doing like this the semiconductor industry in Europe will be soon death.

 

Disaster for European High-Tech

It is a major blow for European high-tech as Crolles2 unravels with first NXP, and now Freescale, pulling out, leaving STMicroelectronics on its own with TSMC as a kind of junior partner.

Without Crolles 2 as a beacon of EU-subsidised process technology R&D, a lot of European work on related technologies, such as production equipment, will be de-emphasised.

Jobs will go at Crolles, and those are the jobs of highly skilled scientists and technologists which Europe should be doing its best to increase, not diminish.

OK, so there’s IMEC, but IMEC can only expand in so far as it has commercial contracts requiring more personnel, and IMEC already has most of the available major CMOS practitioners signed up.

Crolles 2 partners NXP and Freescale, both now under the yoke of private equity firms’ tight accounting procedures, are running for cover to where they know best.

For Michel Mayer, CEO of Freescale, where he knows best is IBM, his old company. He is to give up Freescale’s involvement in Crolles2 and throw in his lot with IBM’s process technology team.

NXP is to throw in its lot with TSMC, co-founded by NXP’s former owner Philips, and a long-time partner of NXP for foundry and technology exchange.

When Jacques Chirac, President of France, opened Crolles 2 a couple of years ago, he would doubtless have been appalled if he’d had an inkling that two of the three partners in such a flagship project for European technology prowess could pull out so abruptly.

To the EC funding bodies, these defections will be a breach of trust which may imperil future funding of high-tech R&D by the European public authorities.

After the shedding of European-based labour by the big semiconductor companies following on the 2001 tech collapse, the EC authorities were already sceptical about the European high-tech companies' claims that they were long-term job creators.

Now the authorities will be even more sceptical when it comes to considering future requests for public funding of high-tech projects.

Whichever way you look at it, this is a disaster for European high-tech.

Where will the benefit of years of EU-subsidised work at Crolles go? Who will reap the rewards from the multi-hundreds of millions of Euros contributed by the EC and by European national governments?

The answer is a few rich guys at the private equity funds, and a handful of the managers at NXP and Freescale who have profits-sharing, targets-based, contracts with their new owners.

How they must be laughing at the poor old European tax-payer.

 

Article from:

http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/david-manners-semi...

15:46 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: crolles2, electronic, economic, imec, disaster, stmicroelectronics, nxp, tsmc |  Facebook |

De commentaren zijn gesloten.