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Fujitsu buy: 'A bolt from the blue' says Spansion exec

Posted: 27 Nov 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Spansion  Fujitsu  embedded MCU  analog business  NAND flash 

Spansion's acquisition of Fujitsu Semiconductor's MCU and analog businesses was "a bolt from the blue," according to Takeshi Fuse, member of the board at Spansion Innovates Ltd., the U.S. memory chip maker business unit based in Japan. Since the deal was completed on August 1, about a third of Spansion's employees today consist of those from Fujitsu's MCU and analog operations. Some 40-50 percent of Spansion's business is now MCU and analog, with the balance generated by the company's flash memory work.

For older-generation engineers accustomed to the Japanese corporate tradition of life-time employment, this sort of sudden employer change is more than traumatic. For Japanese customers for whom a Japanese chip vendor was considered a trusted partner, this abrupt introduction of an unfamiliar supplier could be troubling. Hence, Fuse's invocation of "a-bolt-from-the-blue."

Fuse (pronounced Foo-say), VP of the microcontroller and analog business group at Spansion, laid out what the future holds for his company. In doing so, he reassured present and future customers of Spansion (and formerly of Fujitsu Semiconductor) about what to expect from the U.S. company.

Three welcome changes Fuse pointed out for the MCU and analog businesses now under Spansion are a more global footprint, a horizontal embedded approach (analog, flash and MCU), and the adoption of Spansion's proprietary embedded Charge Trap (eCT) technology in embedded MCUs.

While the MCU and analog businesses had "a solid foothold in the Japanese market," and "even to some extent in China" under Fujitsu Semiconductor, Fuse acknowledged, "We had not been able to crack either the North American or European markets very well." Under Spansion, "We will gain a much bigger marketing presence in the global market."

Fuse also stated, "In the past, we were much more accustomed to vertically selling MCUs and analog products." Now, the new mantra is to make the new Spansion "a one stop shop" for all three product lines, while promoting "modules" consisting of three and "driving the platform approach" for newly designed SoCs integrating them, Fuse explained.

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