Here are the top ten online stories for the year so far as ranked by EE Times Europe readers, up to and including Thursday, Dec. 18. The ranking is based on the number of reader "views" or "hits" on a particular article.
1) How Bluetooth got its name Written by Jim Kardach, who helped form the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, this is more along the lines of a reminiscence. But at least it explains why the names 'Flirt' (getting close but not touching) and 'Radio Wire' didn't make it.
2) The Silicon 60 version 7.0 This list of emerging startups to keep your eyes on was first published in February, but expect an update soon.
3) Borel's European chip industry proposal in full In March we were able to get hold of the full text of this controversial proposal after we broke the story that Joseph Borel, a former ST executive had proposed the formation of a
European chip supercompany. Borel's plan did not fly but given the problems the chip industry is now facing, particularly in locations such as Dresden, almost anything is possible.
4) Deutsche Bank ranking puts Icera up and ST, NXP down In a note to clients issued in February analysts of the 3G baseband silicon market at Deutsche Bank restricted its tier one to four companies; Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Ericsson Mobile Platforms and privately-held, Bristol-based Icera. STMicroelectronics was in the fourth tier and NXP in the third tier of companies. Which may help explain what happened later in the year.
5) ST, NXP to merge wireless businesses In April NXP and STMicroelectronics agreed to combine their wireless operations to form a joint venture company. ST was set to own 80 percent of the venture while NXP kept 20 percent along with $1.55 billion in cash from ST. However, as it happened ST got an even better offer and took over all of the NXP wireless business so it could embark on a 50:50 merger of wireless business with Ericsson Mobile Platforms.
6) Analysts question NXP's survival A major restructuring plan announced in September by NXP left analysts pondering the company's future and dusting off age-old European chip company merger ideas,
7) ARM versus Intel; it's ARM for now What product category sits between the laptop computer and the smartphone? Whatever you call it mobile internet device (MID) or netbook there are two processor companies that want to dominate that space. In January of 2008 we called it for ARM, and whilever they have got Apple's backing I think we'd stick with that.
8) The top 60 little-known technology web sites Just to show how much readers love lists and love browsing, this list borrowed was much-read by readers in 2008.
9) Is the ST, NXP wireless JV the start of IDM break-up? Back in April we argued that the move by ST to grab sufficient market share to stay a player in mobile handset chipsets could presage a shifting of log-jam and herald the destruction of the IDM business model. The global banking crisis, resulting credit crunch and the economic downturn forecast for 2009 are likely to hasten big changes in the industry.
10) Top 20 chip suppliers; iSuppli's preliminary rankings By the time December came round the credit crunch was really starting to bite and everybody wanted to see what happens to a rankings chart when almost everybody is falling.