Peter Clarke, EE Times(04/11/2008 7:38 AM EDT)LONDON
— The move by STMicroelectronics NV and NXP BV, two of Europe's leading semiconductor companies, to merge their wireless businesses, giving ST an 80 percent ownership of the resulting JV while NXP, left with 20 percent stake, is enriched to the tune of $1.55 billion, is a radical step (see April 10 story).
But it is likely not be the last. Creating fine-grained, fabless, niche-market champions has become the name of the semiconductor game.
But the move begs many questions about the way forward for European semiconductor companies and for integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) in general. We could be witnessing the next stage in the triumph of the fabless over the fabbed.
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