06-04-07

Bad periode for european fabs

It seems like it is going worse everyday with the European semiconductor industry.
We have some high-tech research facilities (IMEC, Crolles,...) but we can't produce or own chips in our continent?
Why is this? I don't know... But at the end of the story all the companies that are outsourcing their IC production
are not healthy because the market is like everyone does the same thing.
When you want to be a big good player you must have your own production, engineering and R&D.
When you outsource your production it can be that soon the factory that makes your product comes with the same product with another name 
 
Read the following related story about NXP outsourcing it's production of IC's to TSMC
 

NXP going fabless after 90nm.

NXP has now said that all its production will be sourced from TSMC for chips with more advanced processes than 90nm.

NXP's rationale for the move is that TSMC can provide processes better than 90nm so why go to all the trouble of developing your own?

Funny how quickly attitudes can change. When NXP was part of Philips, when Pasquale Pistorio ran STMicroelectronics, before Freescale was bought by private equity funds, it was held as axiomatic by all three companies that it was an important competitive advantage to have access to the most advanced digital CMOS processes, and that the only way to achieve that was by developing them yourself

That was the rationale for getting the EU to pour hundreds of millions of Euros into Crolles over the years. Now, all three companies have pulled out of doing basic advanced digital CMOS research at Crolles.

Now, it seems, it doesn't matter whether you develop basic advanced CMOS process technology or not. Instead you can go to a public foundry, which is open to all, and have your chips made on the same terms as everyone else.

"If every company goes to foundries, using the same processes and cell libraries as everyone else, what differentiation can a company offer customers?", asks Malcolm Penn, CEO of analysts Future Horizons, "five years down the road, when ST (and for ST read NXP as well) asks: 'Why haven't we got any customers', the reply will be: 'We can get this from loads of other people cheaper, now that they're making them in the Congo

Source:

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