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Ex-ST exec proposes European super chip company

March 13, 2008 //

Joseph Borel, former executive vice president in central R&D at STMicroelectronics NV has proposed that NXP, ST and Infineon Technologies should consolidate into one European super chip company. A 12-page proposal from Borel has been sent to the French Senate and is being transferred to the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.


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MUNICH Joseph Borel, former executive vice president in central R&D at STMicroelectronics NV has proposed that Europe's top three chip companies NXP, ST and Infineon Technologies should consolidate into one European super chip company. A 12-page proposal from Borel has been sent to the French Senate and is being transferred to the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The European semiconductor industry has been struggling in a storm-tossed tempest. To avoid shipwreck, Borel, now of the JB-R&D consulting company, explained with conviction in an exclusive interview with EE Times Europe that NXP Semiconductors (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), ST (Geneva, Switzerland) and Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) have to stop operating individually, and join to achieve critical mass at a scale close to that of semiconductor market leader Intel and to be larger than number two Samsung.

Borel said he had defended his idea in front of Medea, now Catrene, the pan-European research collaboration for microelectronics. But, because he realized that only state governments could take such a decision, Borel addressed his 12-page proposal to the French Senate, which then transferred it to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to Borel, Europe's situation has become critical. For fiscal year 2007, ST reported a net loss of $477 million on revenues of $10.0 billion, NXP made a net loss of $750 million on sales revenue of $7.04 billion and Infineon, excluding DRAM maker Qimonda, announced a profit of about $121 million (up from negative $27.7 million in fiscal year 2006) on revenues of $6.27 billion.

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