STMicroelectronics explained

Company Name:STMicroelectronics N.V.
Company Type:Naamloze vennootschap
Traded As:,,
Foundation:1957 as Società Generale Semiconduttori, 1987 as SGS-Thomson
Location City:Geneva
Location Country:Switzerland
Key People:Carlo Bozotti (President and CEO), Didier Lombard (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Industry:Semiconductors
Products:Integrated circuits for specific applications, memory (including EEPROM), microcontrollers, transistors, smartcards
Revenue: US $10.35 billion (2010)[1]
Operating Income: US $476 million (2010)
Net Income: US $830 million (2010)
Assets:US $13.35 billion (end 2010)
Equity:US $8.497 billion (end 2010)
Num Employees:53,300 (end 2010)
Subsid:ST Ericsson (50%)
Intl:yes

STMicroelectronics is an French-Italian electronics and semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

While STMicroelectronics corporate headquarters and the headquarters for EMEA region are based in Geneva, the holding company, STMicroelectronics N.V. is registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The company’s US headquarters is in Coppell, Texas. Headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region is based in Singapore whilst Japan and Korea operations are headquartered in Tokyo. The company headquarters for the Greater China region is in Shanghai.

History

STMicroelectronics was formed in June 1987 by the merger of semiconductor companies SGS Microelettronica (Società Generale Semiconduttori) of Italy and Thomson Semiconducteurs, the semiconductor arm of France's Thomson. At the time of the merger the company was known as SGS-THOMSON but took its current name in May 1998 following the withdrawal of Thomson SA as an owner.

SGS Microelettronica and Thomson Semiconducteurs were both long-established semiconductor companies.SGS Microelettronica originated in 1972 from a previous merger of two companies:

Thomson Semiconducteurs was created in 1982 by the French government's widespread nationalisation of industries. It included:

After its creation by merger in 1987, SGS-Thomson was ranked 14th among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers with sales of around US$850 million. The company has participated in the consolidation of the semiconductor industry since its formation, with acquisitions including:

On 8 December 1994, the company completed its initial public offering on the Paris and New York stock exchanges. Owner Thomson SA sold its stake in the company in 1998 when the company also listed on the Borsa Italiana in Milan.

Buy-out of VLSI Vision Ltd.

2002, Motorola and TSMC join ST and Philips in a new technology partnership. The Crolles2 Alliance is created with a new 12" wafer manufacturing facility located in Crolles (France).

By 2005, STMicroelectronics was ranked fifth, behind Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Toshiba, but ahead of Infineon, Renesas, NEC, NXP, and Freescale. The company is the largest European semiconductors supplier, ahead of Infineon and NXP (see Semiconductor sales leaders by year).

Early in 2007, NXP (formerly Philips Semiconductors) and Freescale (formerly Motorola Semiconductors) decide to stop their participation in Crolles2 Alliance. Under the terms of the agreement the Alliance came to an end on 31 December 2007.

May 22, 2007; ST and Intel create a joint venture in the memory application called Numonyx. This new company merged ST and Intel Flash Memory activities.

Semiconductor market consolidation continued with ST and NXP announcing on April 10, 2008, the creation of a new joint venture of their mobile activities, with ST owning 80% of the new company and NXP 20%. This joint venture began on August 20, 2008.

On February 10, 2009 ST Ericsson, a joint venture bringing together ST-NXP Wireless and Ericsson Mobile Platforms, was established.

In 2011, STMicroelectronics announced the creation of a joing lab with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa. The lab will focus on research and innovation in bio-robotics, smart systems and microelectronics.[2] Past collaborations with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna included DustBot, a platform that integrated self-navigating "service robots" for waste collection.[2]

Shareholders

As of 2005 the shareholders were:

In 2010 Finmeccanica sold its 8.1% ownbership to the Italian government investor Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Company structure

ST consists of five product groups. Each group is composed of several divisions or business units. Each division is responsible for the design, industrialization, manufacturing and marketing for its own product portfolio. Operations are assisted by a central R&D organisation and the local sales offices.

STMicroelectronics has been involved in developing MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) since 2001. This research and development was initially done at the company's Castelletto site but since its closure in June 2006, MEMS activities have moved to the Agrate main fab.

Following an earlier failure, STMicroelectronics has stayed out of the volatile markets for DRAM and PC microprocessors. In 1994, it attempted to launch compatible Intel 80486 microprocessors in partnership with American company Cyrix. One model only was completed, the 1995 Cyrix M1 microprocessor, which was intended to compete with Intel's Pentium family.

It did achieve some success, however, in the PC-compatible x86 embedded systems market with its STPC SoC line, culminating in the 486-class STPC Atlas, which reached end-of-life in 2008.

Manufacturing facilities

Unlike so-called fabless semiconductor companies, STMicroelectronics owns and operates its own semiconductor wafer fabs. The company owned five 8 inch (200 mm) wafer fabs and one 12 inch (300 mm) wafer fab in 2006. Most of the production is scaled at 0.18 µm, 0.13 µm, 90 nm and 65 nm (measurements of transistor gate length). STMicroelectronics also owns back-end plants, where silicon dies are assembled and bonded into plastic or ceramic packages.[3]

Major sites include:

Milan, Italy

Employing 6,000 staff, the Milan facilities match Grenoble in importance. Agrate Brianza (map), employs around 4000 staff and is a historical base of the company (ex SGS). The site has several fab lines (including an 8 inch (200 mm) fab) and an R&D center. Castelletto, employs 300 to 400 staff and hosts some divisions and R&D centers.

Catania, Italy

The Catania plant in Sicily employs 5,000 staff and hosts several R&D centers and divisions, focusing on flash memory technologies as well as two fabs. The plant was launched in 1961 by ATES to supply under licensing to RCA of the US and initially using Germanium. The site's two major wafer fabs are * an 8 inch (200 mm) fab, opened in April 1997 by Romano Prodi, president of the Italian council and a 12 inch (300 mm) fab that has never been completed and which was transferred in its current state to Numonyx in 2008.

Kirkop, Malta

ST employs some 1,500 people in Malta, making it the largest private sector employer. It is also the country's leading exporter.[4]

Grenoble, France

Grenoble is one of the company's most important R&D centres, employing around 6,000 staff. The Polygone site employs 2200 staff and is one of the historical bases of the company (ex SGS). All the historical wafer fab lines are now closed but the site hosts the headquarters of many divisions (marketing, design, industrialization) and an important R&D center, focused on silicon and software design and fab process development.

The Crolles site hosts an 8 inch (200 mm) and a 12 inch (300 mm) fab and was originally built as a common R&D center for submicrometre technologies as part of the 1990 Grenoble 92 partnership between SGS-Thomson and CNET, the R&D center of French telecom company France Telecom. The 8 inch (200 mm) fab, known as Crolles 1, is the company's first and was built as part of a 1991 partnership between SGS-Thomson and Philips to develop new manufacturing technologies. Crolles 1 was opened on 9 September 1993 by Gérard Longuet, French minister for industry.

The 12 inch (300 mm) fab was inaugurated by French president Jacques Chirac, on 27 February 2003. It includes a R&D center which focuses on developing new nanometric technology processes for 90 nm to 32 nm scale using 12 inch (300 mm) wafers and it was developed for The Crolles 2 Alliance. This alliance of STMicroelectronics, TSMC, NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips semiconductor) and Freescale (formerly Motorola semiconductor) partnered in 2002 to develop the facility and to work together on process development. The technologies developed at the facility were also used by global semiconductor foundry TSMC of Taiwan, allowing TSMC to build the products developed in Crolles on behalf of the Alliance partners who required such foundry capacity.

Rousset, France

Employing around 3,000 staff, Rousset hosts several division headquarters including smartcards, microcontrollers, and EEPROM as well as several R&D centers. Rousset also hosts an 8 inch (200 mm) fab which was opened on 15 May 2000 by French prime minister Lionel Jospin.

The site opened in 1979 as a 4 inch (100 mm) fab opertated by Eurotechnique, a joint venture between Saint Gobain of France and National Semiconductor of the US. Rousset was sold to Thomson-CSF in 1982 as part of the French government's 1981-82 nationalization of several industries. As part of the nationalisation, a former Thomson plant in the center of Aix-en-Provence operating since the 1960s was closed and staff were transferred to the new Rousset site. The original 4 inch (100 mm) fab was upgraded into 5 inch (130 mm) and later 6 inch (150 mm) fab in 1996. It is now being shut down.

In 1988, a small group of employees from the Thomson Rousset plant (including the director, Marc Lassus) founded a start-up company, Gemalto (formerly known as Gemplus) which became a leader in the smartcard industry.

Tours, France

Employing 1500 staff, this site hosts a fab and R&D centers.

Ang Mo Kio, Singapore

In 1970, SGS created its first assembly back-end plant in Singapore, in the area of Toa Payoh. Then in 1981, SGS decided to build a waferfab in Singapore. The Singapore technical engineers have been trained in Italy and the fab of Ang Mo Kio started to produce its firstwafers in 1984. Converted up to 8 inch (200 mm) fab, this is now an important 8 inch (200 mm) wafer fab of the group. Ang Mo Kio also hosts some design centers. The site currently employs 6000 staff.

Tunis, Tunisia

Application, design and support. ~300 employees. Divisions: MCD, FTM, HVD.

Other sites

Administrative headquarters

Assembly plants

Design Centers

Closing sites

The Phoenix, Arizona 8 inch (200 mm) fab, the Carrollton, Texas 6 inch (150 mm) fab, and the Ain Sebaa, Morocco fab are beginning rampdown plans, and are destined to close by 2010.[5]

The Casablanca, Morocco site consists of two assembly parts (Bouskoura and Aïn Sebaâ) and totals around 4000 employees. It was opened in the 1960s by Thomson. ST is Morocco's biggest exporter.

Closed sites

Future locations

Solar cells

STMicroelectronics is involved in a project to produce plastic solar cells that employ a matrix of carbon nanotubes to convert photons to electrical power.[9]

See also

Notes and References

  1. Web site: Annual Report 2010. 17 November 2011. STMicroelectronics.
  2. Nicolas Mokhoff, EDN. "ST Micro opens lab for humanoid robot research." July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  3. Web site: Company Information - STMicroelectronics. 2011-05-04. STMicroelectronics. ST operates a worldwide network of front-end (wafer fabrication) and back-end (assembly and test and packaging) plants.
  4. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100629/local/st-to-invest-further-in-malta-plant
  5. http://www.st.com/stonline/press/news/year2007/c2542c.htm ST | STMicroelectronics Outlines Next Steps to Improve Cost Structure | C2542C
  6. http://www.st.com/stonline/press/news/year2007/c2547c.htm ST | Nokia and STMicroelectronics plan deeper ties in 3G technology development | C2547C
  7. http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1144794 Nokia - ShowPressRelease
  8. http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/2007/08/08/41943/nokia-lines-up-chip-transfer-to-st.htm Nokia lines up chip transfer to ST
  9. http://www.analogzone.com/grnp0602.htm